WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined “Meet the Press” this morning to discuss the details of his newly struck reconciliation deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The deal could give Democrats a much-needed boost ahead of November, but Manchin wasn’t willing to endorse Democratic control of the House and Senate.
“I’m going to work with whatever I have,” Manchin said.
“I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with." He continued, "I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues. So I can work on either side very easily.”
Asked if he has a preference for the outcomes of the November elections, Manchin responded that he was comfortable with “whatever the voters choose.”
“I can’t decide what’s going to happen in Kansas or California or Texas. I really can’t.” Manchin continued, “I’ve always taken the approach, ‘whoever you send me, that’s your representative, and I respect them.’ I respect the state for the people they send, and I give it my best to work with them, to do the best for my country. I don’t play the politics that way. I don’t like it that way. That’s not who I am.”
Negotiations for the Democrats’ energy and spending bill began in April, Manchin disclosed, but was kept under wraps to avoid “drama.” Manchin said that Democrats have been “working and negotiating off and on very quietly.”
Despite the agreement, the bill’s future is still uncertain, in part because of questions over Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's (D-Ariz.) support. “I would like to think she would be favorable towards it, but I respect her decision. She’ll make her own decision based on the contents,” Manchin said.
A source close to Sen. Sinema tells NBC News that Sinema “wasn’t included in talks” with Democrats, but “the deal includes a tax provision she has been clear and consistent with opposing.”