US President Joe Biden formally disagreed with activists hounding two Senate Democrats blocking his agenda, but then endorsed such tactics as part of the legislative process happening to those without Secret Service protection.
Biden was asked by the White House reporters on Monday if it was appropriate for Democrat activists to hound the two senators who weren’t on board with the party’s $3.5-trillion spending proposal or raising the debt ceiling.“I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody,” Biden responded. He then laughed and added, “The only people it doesn’t happen to are people who have Secret Service standing around,” meaning himself and the vice president.It’s part of the process.Activists in kayaks swarmed the houseboat of Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) last week, to yell at him about refusing to vote for Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ agenda. On Sunday, a group of activists stalked Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) on the Arizona State University (ASU) campus, going so far as to follow her into a bathroom.
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With the Senate evenly split, and Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker, Democrats would need every single vote to pass their spending and debt proposals – as the Republicans reportedly remain unified in opposition. Reactions to Biden’s statement were quick. A Fox News editor recalled that Biden had told staffers in January they would be fired on the spot if they didn’t treat others with respect – but is now apparently defending harassment of senators as part of the legislative process.Back in Jan, Biden told staffers that he would “fire you on the spot” if you didn’t treat others with respect.When asked about the tactics of activists harassing Sen. Sinema in bathroom he very softly criticized and downplayed as “part of the process.”pic.twitter.com/IroUgc4URZ— Cameron Cawthorne (@Cam_Cawthorne) October 4, 2021“It is not part of the legislative process to chase people into bathrooms,” said the House Republicans.Conservative activist Benny Johnson shared the video of Sinema being yelled at, asking if Biden had just endorsed the harassment of elected officials for the sake of his agenda.Following U.S. Senators into the bathroom and shouting “Build Back Better” is just “part of the process” according to the President of the United States.Did Biden just advocate for harassing elected officials in order to advance his political agenda?pic.twitter.com/1vYHa0Dob0— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 4, 2021About an hour before Biden spoke, Sinema issued a statement condemning the activists’ actions as “unacceptable” and “wholly inappropriate” behavior that “unfairly and unlawfully” victimized ASU students.While Biden had managed to negotiate a $1.5-trillion infrastructure bill with Senate Republicans, the Democrats insist it cannot pass without their $3.5-trillion spending bill – which they intend to get through the Senate through a procedure known as ‘reconciliation,’ which doesn’t require the customary 60 votes. However, that would require all 50 Democrats to vote for it, and Manchin and Sinema – both on board the bipartisan infrastructure bill – have balked.
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Asked whether he blamed the two of them, Biden said only, “Look, I need 50 votes in the Senate. I have 48.”Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!