Manchin Suggests He Won’t Back Infrastructure Bill Without Bipartisan Support From Republicans

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin suggested Thursday that he won’t back an infrastructure plan without bipartisan support from Republicans.

President Joe Biden made an apparent dig at Manchin and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema just days earlier for allegedly voting “more with” his “Republican friends.” In reality, the duo has voted with Biden’s position 100% of the time since his inauguration.

Manchin told NBC News’ Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake he’s not interested in an infrastructure bill that only has Democratic support and said he believes a bipartisan deal will be sorted out between Biden and Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

Biden and Capito met Wednesday to discuss infrastructure and are meeting again Friday afternoon to continue bipartisan talks.

If a bipartisan deal can be made, Manchin said “he’s not ready for reconciliation,” according to Haake.

“I don’t think we should. I really don’t,” Manchin told the NBC News correspondent about going forward with just Democratic backing. “I don’t think, right now, basically, we need to be bipartisan.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki downplayed Biden’s swipe and told reporters Wednesday that “it was not” criticism. (RELATED: Infrastructure Talks Hit Snag After GOP Response To Biden’s Counteroffer)

“And he doesn’t [see eye to eye] with Sen. Sinema and Sen. Manchin, and he doesn’t with Sen. Capito who’s coming here later this afternoon. He believes there’s an opportunity to work together, to make progress, to find areas of common ground, even if you of have areas of disagreement,” Psaki said.