During the American Bankers Association’s virtual Washington Summit today, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) praised bankers and their work on the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, calling them a lifeline that “kept businesses alive.” Manchin also urged bipartisan cooperation, especially with regard to the pandemic recovery, emphasizing that “we have to work together, we have to find a pathway forward—we’re all Americans, we’re all in this together.”
Bankers were the ones that made the PPP program work, Manchin told ABA Chief Political Strategist Rob Engstrom. “They threw that PPP thing out there and said ‘figure it out,’ and guess who figured it out? It was the bankers.” Manchin added that listening to feedback from bankers about the PPP and getting their input led to improvements in the program, “and I think it got pretty smooth,” he said.
Manchin also urged increased bipartisan cooperation and said that infrastructure is something both sides could support, “I’ve never seen a Senate member—Republican or Democrat—ever not have a problem with a road or bridge in their area or state. So we all have infrastructure needs. If there is one thing that should bring us together, it should be infrastructure.”