- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Taking questions from the press on Monday, President Biden said it was two senators who wouldn’t allow a deal to be made so parts of his “Build Back Better” agenda could pass Congress. He seemed to be referring to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Biden also responded to reports that protesters chased Sinema into a restroom and confronted Manchin on his boat, saying, “I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody.”
- Thank you, Mr. President. You've often touted your experience in the Senate, your 36 years in the Senate. Your aides have talked about your abilities to be a closer on deals involving legislation. Why were you unable, Mr. President, to close the deal with members of your own party on key parts of your legislative agenda last week?
JOE BIDEN: I've been able to close the deal on 99% of my party. [CHUCKLES] Two-- two people. That's still underway. I don't think there's been a president who's been able to close deals that's been in a position where he has only 50 votes in the Senate and a bare majority in the House.
This is a process. This is a process. We'll get it done.
- Mr. President?
- Mr. President?
- It sounds like you're-- Mr. President, it sounds like you're putting the blame squarely on two US senators for your inability to close that deal, Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin. Am I incorrect? Is that who the blame lies with?
JOE BIDEN: Look, I need 50 votes in the Senate. I have 48.
- Mr. President, just one-- Mr. President, you're talking about how you had 48 Democratic votes right now. The other two have been pressured over the weekend by activists. Joe Manchin had people on kayaks show up to his boat to yell him. Senator Sinema last night was chased into a restroom. Do you think that those tactics are crossing a line?
JOE BIDEN: I don't think they're appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody from the-- the only people it doesn't happen to are people who have Secret Service standing around them. So it's a part of the process.