Manchin Elaborates On Leaving Dem Party After Calling Story ‘Bulls***’
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he would not undermine the Senate Democratic majority even if he became an independent.
The remarks come one day after Manchin called a report that he is considering leaving his party “bulls***.”
In remarks to Fox News, Manchin said if he is an “embarrassment” to his Democratic colleagues, President Joe Biden, or Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as a “moderate centrist,” he would become an independent.
“’If that causes you a problem, let me know, and I’ll switch to be an independent. But I’d still be caucusing with Democrats,’” Manchin recalled telling them. “That’s the only thing that was ever discussed, and no one accepted that.”
“I just said, ‘I’ll make that offer if you need it,’” Manchin said.
Manchin is a linchpin of Senate Democrats’ narrow majority. There are 50 Democratic senators and 50 Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote, giving Democrats the edge.
Manchin, as well as Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, has faced growing pressure from progressive Democrats because of his objections to the size of a social spending package under negotiation by Democrats.
The party is struggling to reach a deal among its members ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline.
On Wednesday, Mother Jones reported Manchin told associates he would consider leaving the Democratic Party if Biden and congressional Democrats did not back down from a $3.5 trillion price tag on their social spending bill.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said Manchin “devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure” and would call himself an “American independent.”
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