Sen. Joe Manchin spoiled the Democrats’ Christmas pudding when he said he would not vote to approve a social infrastructure bill championed by President Joe Biden, but that didn’t stop Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from promising to bring Build Back Better to the floor for a vote “early next year.”

Passing legislation wasn’t the only problem Congress had this week. Capitol Hill had its own omicron surge as several politicians from Rep. Jason Crow to the president either tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed from a close contact.

Merry Christmas, here is our gift to you, the quotes of the week:

“A large part of what causes people to move is the mythological element created by Elon Musk and others who say that California is not the future.”
- Ramesh Srinivasan, a tech and sociology professor at UCLA, speaking about the Silicon Valley “brain drain” benefitting red states.

"I don't want ['Let's go Brandon'] to just be the substitute for a cuss word. I mean, if it's making it more polite, then, by God, I guess, go ahead."
- Racecar driver Brandon Brown on his name inspiring a right-wing chant and his desire to remain apolitical. 

"Well, guess what? I'm from West Virginia. I'm not from where they're from. And you just beat the living crap out of people and think they'll be submissive, period.”
- Sen. Joe Manchin saying White House staffers badgering him and encouraging protesters to bully him into voting for Build Back Better pushed him further away from the bill. 

"There is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime. But, make no mistake, that is exactly what is happening here."
- Former President Donald Trump on New York Attorney General Letitia James investigating the Trump Organization’s business practices. 

“The security situation in Europe, the Euro-Atlantic region, and Eurasia has indeed greatly deteriorated recently … The time of diplomatic parlance is over.”
- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on the tension caused by Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border. 

“Plaintiffs’ religious liberty and the government’s asserted interest in protecting our service members from COVID-19 need not be in conflict, especially where, as here, the individuals seeking an exemption are willing to adopt non-vaccination measures to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.”
- A brief 47 GOP lawmakers filed in support of a handful of elite soldiers who object to being vaccinated against COVID-19. 

"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.”
- Bette Midler tweeting about Sen. Joe Manchin saying he cannot support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan. 

"I will be having a news conference on January 6th at Mar-a-Lago to discuss all of these points, and more. Until then, remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th."
- Trump announces he will hold a press conference on Jan. 6, 2022, to address the events of the Capitol riot a year earlier.

“George Gascon gets a gold medal for cliches with his rebuttal to the recall petition. Anyone who reads his rebuttal will realize what a fool Los Angeles County has for its district attorney. Gascon personifies the most serious threat to public safety that has come along in the county’s recent memory.”
- Former LA District Attorney Steve Cooley responds to George Gascon, Los Angeles’s district attorney, rebutting a recall effort.  

“If you’re not fully vaccinated, you have good reason to be concerned. You’re at a high risk of being sick. And if you’re sick, you’re likely to spread it to others, including friends and family … almost everyone who has died from COVID-19 over the past several months has been unvaccinated.”
- Biden attempts to convince people to get vaccinated amid the omicron surge. 

“They are the blue Grinch that wants to steal Christmas. [Biden] will not take [Christmas hope] away from us because we are a nation built on the word of God, and we have hope.”
- Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tells Fox News host Tucker Carlson that Biden isn’t doing enough to inspire hope this holiday season. 

"Ultimately, WRAIR hopes to transition its vaccine to protect not just from COVID-19 but from all coronavirus diseases, known and unknown, to end the current pandemic and prevent the next one from ever beginning."
- The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research appears to have developed a COVID vaccine that will be effective against present and future strains. 

"Even if we’re not completely at endemicity, we’re pretty close. And so this may be, effectively, what endemicity looks like, and we can see how bad that feels."
- Trevor Bedford, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, on the appearance of omicron being less severe than previous COVID variants. 

“The enemy of the American people is the virus and this shouldn't be a political battle."
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki on what the president’s praise of Trump’s support for vaccinations signals. 

"Mitch McConnell has repeatedly bailed out Joe Biden, giving him gifts of Senate votes, which are the only things keeping the Biden administration on life support. As an example, after rescuing Biden with the last debt ceiling increase, McConnell said he would never do it again. But he just did, and he had Lisa Murkowski’s help in doing so."
- Republican Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka, saying she will not support McConnell for majority leader if she wins Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s seat. 

"President Biden seems confused and was confusing the half a billion tests that they’ve ordered with a half a billion pills. And, of course, pills were in the news today with the Pfizer approval of the antiviral, so he corrected himself, but that was one thing that stuck out to me."
- Jeffrey Zeleny, chief national affairs correspondent for CNN, on Biden struggling while speaking with ABC News. 

"Let's go Brandon, I agree." 
- Biden responds to a parent using a coded anti-Biden chant on a live call on Christmas Eve.