Scalise: 'Tough' Joe Manchin Can Handle Dems' Backlash Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2021. (SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 07 June 2021 12:39 PM
Sen. Joe Manchin is "tough" and can handle the backlash after breaking from his own party in an editorial and in TV appearances about his refusal to vote for a Democrat-only infrastructure bill and for rejecting calls to kill the Senate filibuster to allow the House Democrats' voting rights bill to be approved in the Senate, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Monday
"I think it's a mistake to threaten him," the Louisiana Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "What he's saying is, Joe Biden, you said you were going to unify the country and work with everybody, it's time you start doing that."
Manchin, D-W. Va., has said he wants to help Biden work with both sides of the aisle, Scalise continued, but that also means he won't be voting to pass bad legislation.
"A Democrat-only infrastructure bill would be much more (about) the Green New Deal," Scalise added, because it would contain provisions that would have nothing to do with roads and bridges and that "would not be good for the country."
"At least Joe Manchin is putting his marker down on that and on H.R. 1, which is a bad piece of legislation," Scalise said, and the West Virginia senator is saying, with his actions, that Biden must start working with Republicans like he promised."
Meanwhile, there are several states that have their own voter integrity protections in place, including Manchin's home state of West Virginia, said Scalise.
"If you look at Florida back in 2000, you had the disaster in Broward County, where they were counting ballots that didn't even have marks on them, and Florida fixed those laws," said Scalise. "H.R. 1 overrides that and takes California's election law and turns it into America's law and gets rid of voter fraud protections, which is something you don't want to do."
Scalise continued that regardless of the elections in 2022 or 2024, members of Congress must do what's right for the United States.
"(Biden's) policies right now are destroying the fabric of America," said Scalise. "Look at our economy. You've got a lot of problems there. Inflation through the roof. Our adversaries, Russia, China, Iran, they're all testing President Biden right now and, frankly (he) is failing those tests. Just look at the recent hacks, look at what China's doing trying to give away the intellectual property of the vaccine to China right now."
Biden is being judged on that performance, and "right now, the performance has been dismal," he continued. "Keystone's gone, and President Biden has approved the Russian pipeline, Nord Stream, to Germany. He is killing American jobs and giving jobs to foreign countries. Those aren't good fundamentals."