Ex–Trump Official Praises Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin For 'Fighting Back' on Budget Bill

Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema received an unlikely ally from the former Trump administration over their resistance to their party's $3.5 trillion infrastructure package.

Larry Kudlow, who was the director of the National Economic Council under the former president between 2018 and 2021, praised the centrist Democrats for holding out over the deal to widen the social care safety net.

During a segment on Friday on Fox News, Kudlow spoke to Sean Hannity who made his typically wide-ranging criticism of Biden policies, ranging from immigration, energy and inflation, before throwing to Kudlow, who is also a host on Fox Business.

Kudlow condemned how the Biden administration's plans to increase federal support for social services would require tax hikes on the wealthiest and referred to the cuts in taxation that took place under the Trump administration he served.

"You should have made the Trump tax cuts permanent, that would be the single best policy this Congress could do for economic growth," Kudlow said.

Larry Kudlow
Larry Kudlow, Ex-Director of the National Economic Council is pictured on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. He has praised Democratic senators holding out against a $3.5 trillion infrastructure package. Joe Raedle/Getty

"The trouble with the Biden group is they believe in government, they believe in big government socialism, and they do not believe in the private free enterprise capitalist system that Trump touted and unleashed."

A House vote on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in the Senate last month was canceled after pressure from progressives. They want it tied to the $3.5 trillion spending package whose price tag is too much for Manchin, of West Virginia, and Sinema, of Arizona.

But Kudlow praised the Democrats' resistance, telling Hannity, "by the way, Sean, I'm glad Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema [are] fighting back. Some blue dog Democrats," he said, referring to the caucus of Democratic centrists.

"I'm glad. They're not perfect, they're not like us, they're not supply-siders, but at least somebody is stepping in front of this train."

Biden has held meetings this week with Sinema and Manchin over the reconciliation package that would fund priorities for his administration such as health care, climate policy, education and family care.

The senators continue to face criticism for holding up the vote on the spending package. Without their backing, the Democrats are two votes short of the 50 they need in the upper house to pass the bill which has no GOP support.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who wants House members to reject a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill unless a Senate vote is held on the larger spending package tweeted that the two senators "cannot be allowed to defeat what 48 senators and 210 House members want."

Newsweek has contacted the offices of Sinema and Manchin for comment.