A report from the leftist site Mother Jones states that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has told his colleagues he may exit the Democratic Party if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill stonewall his demand for a reduction of the social spending bill from a whopping $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion.
Mother Jones’ sources said Manchin stated that if he is rebuffed, he would change his party affiliation to Independent.
“He told associates that he has a two-step plan for exiting the party,” Mother Jones reported. “First, he would send a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, removing himself from the Democratic leadership of the Senate. … He would then wait and see if that move had any impact on the negotiations. After about a week, he said, he would change his voter registration from Democrat to independent.”
“It is unclear whether in this scenario Manchin would end up caucusing with the Democrats, which would allow them to continue to control the Senate, or side with the Republicans and place the Senate in GOP hands,” Mother Jones added.
Numerous sources quoted Manchin saying the claim that he might leave the party was false:
— Zach C. Cohen (@Zachary_Cohen) October 20, 2021
Given the present 50/50 division in the Senate, Manchin’s vote is crucial for the Democrats if they are to pass the monstrously expensive social spending package. If that package is not passed, the $1 trillion bipartisan road-bridges-and-broadband infrastructure bill the Senate approved in August would be in jeopardy.
“He has informed associates that because he is so out of sync with the Democratic Party he believes it is likely he will leave the party by November 2022,” Mother Jones declared, adding, “In a recent meeting with Biden, Manchin told the president that he sees government as a partner with the public not the ultimate provider, according to people who heard the senator’s account of the conversation. He explained to the president that in his view Biden didn’t win the presidency last year by championing progressive proposals, and he pressed the president to recall his campaign promise to bring people together.”
After Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave a contentious speech on October 7 on the Senate floor Manchin reportedly called the speech “f***ing stupid.”
“Manchin’s blunt assessment of Schumer’s remarks comes after the West Virginia senator was visibly upset in the Senate chamber, burying his head in his hands during Schumer’s speech,” The Daily Wire noted. “The particularly stark image underscored the battle that Manchin has waged for weeks attempting to restrain Democrats’ high-spending appetite.”
Punchbowl News reported:
There was some last-minute drama, as well. Schumer went to the floor and harshly criticized Republicans for provoking the crisis. Schumer won this round of his never-ending battle with McConnell, and he made sure everyone knew it. But Republicans — and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — didn’t like the tone of Schumer’s remarks. Senate Minority Whip John Thune complained personally to Schumer on the floor, while Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) complained to reporters.
Manchin told Schumer the speech was “f***ing stupid,” according to four sources. Then Manchin complained to reporters too. The incident doesn’t really signify anything, except to show how tense everyone is in the Senate these days. And it’s only going to get worse.
Manchin later said, “I just think that basically what we got to do is find the pathway forward and make sure that we de-weaponize; we have to de-weaponize. You can’t be playing politics; none of us can, on both sides, and both sides have been very guilty of this. The frustration was built up.”