‘Hey Joe, how are ya’ Biden jokes with Manchin and smiles as he signs nine veteran bills into law


‘Hey Joe, how are ya? I wish I had Joe’s hair’: Biden jokes with Manchin and smiles as he signs nine new veteran bills into law – after the Democratic Senator killed his economic agenda

  • Biden pointed out Manchin at a White House event on veterans’ issues
  • Manchin was once a regular at the White House during negotiations over Build Back Better
  • He is now negotiating with Sen. Charles Schumer to try to salvage a deal 
  • ‘When I look out, the only thing I see is Joe Manchin,’ Biden said

President Joe Biden looked into a crowd at the White House Tuesday and could only see Joe Manchin, the man who helped tank his Build Back Better agenda but could still help him salvage major legislation. 

 ‘I need glasses,’ Biden joked at the start of a bill signing in the East Room.

‘When I look out, the only thing I see is Joe Manchin — hey Joe, how are ya? God, I wish I had Joe’s hair,’ Biden said, buttering up the West Virginia Democrat over his abundant mane

Last year, Manchin was a fixture inside the White House – as Biden and his aides tried again and again to bring him on board for a $1.8 trillion program filled with key Democratic priorities, from climate legislation to take hikes on the wealthy and corporations. 

He was one of two votes, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.), that Biden needed and courted in the failed effort to move a package under special budget reconciliation rules.

'Hey Joe, how are ya?' President Joe Biden complimented West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin during an event at the White House Tuesday

‘Hey Joe, how are ya?’ President Joe Biden complimented West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin during an event at the White House Tuesday

The effort isn’t entirely dead, with Manchin now negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) over salvaging a package with a focus on climate, health care, and deficit reduction. 

One item under discussion would wring budget savings by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices.

On Sunday, the Washington Post ran a feature titled ‘How the White House lost Joe Manchin and its plan to transform America. 

But Manchin isn’t only lobbing criticism at the White House, even after finding myriad ways to say no to proposals during negotiations.

Days ago he spoke in favor of an assault weapons ban and said it ‘makes sense’ to raise the age for buying an assault rifle from 18 to 21.

President Joe Biden, right, gives a pen to Matthew Thomas, lower left, son of the late Marine Corps veteran Kate Hendricks Thomas, after he used it to sign a bill into law named after her during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 7.

President Joe Biden, right, gives a pen to Matthew Thomas, lower left, son of the late Marine Corps veteran Kate Hendricks Thomas, after he used it to sign a bill into law named after her during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 7.

Manchin was a regular visitor to the White House during fraught negotiations over Build Back Better

Manchin was a regular visitor to the White House during fraught negotiations over Build Back Better

Biden complimented Manchin on his hair

Biden complimented Manchin on his hair

US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), US Representative Blake Moore (R-UT), US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) joined Biden at the ceremony

US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), US Representative Blake Moore (R-UT), US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) joined Biden at the ceremony

Senior Airman Frances Gavalis, 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron equipment manager, tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit. Military uniform items turned in must be burned to ensure they cannot be used by opposing forces. Biden signed a new law that provides additional medical screening for veterans

Senior Airman Frances Gavalis, 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron equipment manager, tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit. Military uniform items turned in must be burned to ensure they cannot be used by opposing forces. Biden signed a new law that provides additional medical screening for veterans

The issue that brought Manchin and other lawmakers to the White House. Biden signed nine pieces of legislation into law, including one that provided better access to screening like mammograms for veterans who were exposed to noxious burn bits during the second Gulf War.

Biden has said exposure to burn pits may have contributed to his son Beau’s death from brain cancer. 

Biden pointed to another bill where he had a personal connection, one that named a VA clinic being build in Oahu after the late Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka. Biden served for years with Akaka, who served in World War II and was the first native Hawaiian to serve in the Senate.

Another bill he signed provides for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal to the United States Army Rangers Veterans of World War II.

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