Brian Williams Teases 'Modest Maserati-Driving' Joe Manchin Over Joe Biden Bill

MSNBC's Brian Williams teased Senator Joe Manchin for his opposition to President Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act on Wednesday, ribbing the Democratic lawmaker for driving a Maserati.

Williams, host of The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, will make his final broadcast on the network on Thursday. Before his departure, he took aim at the senator for his resistance to the administration's infrastructure and social spending bill.

Manchin, who is considered a moderate Democrat, has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the bill and its original $3.5 trillion price tag.

Williams was discussing Build Back Better with his guests on Wednesday when he mentioned Manchin's luxury car and the fact that his Washington residence is a houseboat.

"Is it safe to assume the modest Maserati-driving, houseboat-living gentleman from West Virginia is a 'no' on the Biden bill?" Williams asked.

The Build Back Better Act has already passed the House of Representatives but it will require the support of every Democrat in the Senate, including Manchin, if it is to become law.

The Senate is divided between 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats. That has made Manchin a key figure in passing legislation and earned him significant criticism, particularly from the left of his party.

This is not the first time Williams has made reference to Manchin's Maserati. During The 11th Hour on November 10, Williams was again discussing Build Back Better and asked if Manchin was "tuning up his Maserati to roll right over that document?"

The West Virginia senator's silver Maserati made headlines on November 4 after a group of climate change activists blocked the car in a D.C. parking garage as he was trying to leave.

Manchin was on the way to his houseboat, which is his primary residence when he's in D.C. and is called Almost Heaven. It has been described as a yacht, though the use of that term is disputed. The boat was also the subject of protests relating to the Build Back Better Act on November 4.

Protesters from the Sunrise Movement chanted, "We want to live. We want to live" at Manchin as they followed him to the parking garage and then to the houseboat. The group favors the passage of the social spending bill.

Manchin has expressed misgivings about the effect that Build Back Better might have on inflation after a record rise in October.

He told The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit on Tuesday that inflation was a key concern.

"The unknown we're facing today is much greater than the need that people believe in this aspirational bill that we're looking at," Manchin said. "And we've got to make sure we get this right. We just can't continue to flood the market as we've done."

The senator voted in favor of a separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which President Joe Biden has signed into law.

Image Shows Brian Williams and Joe Manchin
A composite photo shows MSNBC's Brian Williams and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Manchin was interviewed by Williams on Wednesday, the day before the host's final show. Getty Images