CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – With U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announcing his opposition to the Build Back Better plan, the bill is dead for now.
Manchin’s decision brought about mixed responses in the Mountain State, with some saying he made the right choice and others claiming he isn’t fighting for what is best for West Virginians.
In his explanation as to why he couldn’t vote for the bill, Senator Machin said, “I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation.”
The senator’s opposition also created mixed responses from politicians and celebrities around the country. One of those comments, a tweet from actress and singer Bette Midler, earned a response from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
On Monday, Dec. 20, Midler tweeted that, in her opinion, Manchin had made the wrong decision and “sold us all out.” What caused the controversy however was the comments about the state, saying the senator wants everyone to be “just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”
“What #JoeManchin, who represents a population smaller than Brooklyn, has done to the rest of America, who wants to move forward, not backward, like his state, is horrible. He sold us out. He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out,” Midler tweeted.
Shortly after the tweet, Midler tweeted again. This time, apologizing for her outburst saying she was “just seeing red” when she made the initial tweet.
“I apologize to the good people of WVA for my last outburst. I’m just seeing red; #JoeManchin and his whole family are a criminal enterprise. Is he really the best WV has to offer its own citizens? Surely there’s someone there who has the state’s interests at heart, not his own!” the second tweet read.
Governor Justice has voiced his support for Manchin’s decision and his own opposition to the Build Back Better Plan. He said during his semi-daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday that he believes the plan goes against what the people who “got their hands dirty” to build up the country have worked for.
However, politics aside, he said the actress’s comments were “unfair” to the people of the Mountain State, encouraging her to visit the state and see who the people of the state are for herself.
“Bette, it’s cruel, and it’s really, really unfair. You know, we’ve had a struggle, just like anybody’s had a struggle, but just think about what we’ve done. In the last few years, we have become the diamond in the rough that everybody’s missed. We have the four most beautiful seasons on the planet. Absolutely, we have the very best people, and I would welcome you to come and see these people. See these people that really care. People that love and appreciate what others by what they do,” Justice said.
While Midler has offered an apology through Twitter, the governor asks for many more apologies to the people of the state for her original comments.
“To say ‘illiterate and poor and strung out’ it’s cruel and unnecessary, and I wish to goodness you would make many, many open apologies for just doing that,” Justice said. “This state has become a leader and this state produces the greatest people on the planet.”