KEY POINTS

  • An excerpt from “Peril” revealed a few details about Biden’s warning to Manchin
  • Manchin eventually backed the $1.9 trillion relief plan
  • The West Virginia senator is now opposing the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill
  • Other Democrats have also raised issues about the trillion-dollar plan

President Joe Biden pressured Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in an expletive-laden phone call to support the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that was passed in March, a new book has revealed.

Veteran Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa wrote in the book, titled “Peril,” that the phone call took place on March 5, one day before Senate lawmakers voted on the package. In an excerpt from the book, as revealed by the Post, Biden said, “If you don’t come along, you’re really f---ing me.”

The package in question during the last-minute phone call was Biden’s “American Rescue Plan.” At the time, Manchin raised concerns over the scope of unemployment benefits stated in the plan. Before the said relief package was passed, Manchin was among the Democrats who pushed the president into cutting the amount of unemployment aid while raising income limits on eligible citizens who were to receive $1,400 in payment checks, Axios reported.

Manchin, a moderate Democrat, is said to have resisted and stalled Senate proceedings for nearly 11 hours before negotiations ended and the stimulus bill was approved, according to Insider.

The West Virginia senator has manifested his negotiation power in the past year, and this time, he is seeking massive changes in a $3.5 trillion spending package that includes social spending programs and health care.

While Manchin said earlier this month that he will not support the multi-trillion-dollar plan, he alluded to possibly supporting a smaller package.

On Sunday, he told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Dana Bash that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “will not have my vote on $3.5 [trillion] and Chuck knows that.”

He said there was no urgency on the $3.5 trillion package unlike how it was with the American Rescue Plan. “What’s the urgency that we have?" he asked. Finally, the former West Virginia governor said “there’s no way” Congress will meet the Sept. 27 deadline set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Manchin isn’t the only Democrat who has raised concerns about the massive spending bill. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said the bill “falls short” due to inadequate funds set aside for housing assistance, CNN reported. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has also indicated that she will not back the deal.

The hardcover version of Woodward and Costa's “Peril” will be released on Sept. 21, while the Kindle version is available for purchase on Amazon.

US Senator Joe Manchin (at left) threatened to derail the $1.9 trillion Covid rescue plan but a compromise struck over unemployment insurance meant the centrist Democrat remained supportive of the bill US Senator Joe Manchin (at left) threatened to derail the $1.9 trillion Covid rescue plan but a compromise struck over unemployment insurance meant the centrist Democrat remained supportive of the bill Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / WIN MCNAMEE