Manchin Responds to Rumors He's Considering Ditching Democrats, Switching to Independent


West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is one of the only moderate Democrats left in the party. Now he is responding to reports that he is considering leaving the party to become an independent.

On Wednesday, Mother Jones reported that Manchin had been discussing the possibility of ditching the Democrats over the past few days. The outlet said he was frustrated with the lack of support for his proposed changes to President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.

Prominent political figures including Jack Posobiec shared the news on Twitter.

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Manchin quickly responded to the rumors, calling them “bulls**t,” according to NBC reporter Frank Thorp.

WARNING: The following contains graphic language that some readers and viewers will find offensive.

Should Sen. Manchin leave the Democratic Party?

Manchin has expressed his desire for the infrastructure bill to be cut down to $1.75 trillion. Progressive Democrats have not complied, leading to a standoff within the party.

More than just the bill lies in the balance. Since the Senate is tied 50-50, with Democrats only holding the advantage via a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, the party needs Manchin to pass many of its priorities.

The senator is standing firm against much of Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. Last week, his refusal to support a carbon tax killed Democrats’ $150 billion “clean electricity program,” The New York Times reported.

In September, he suggested Democrats take a “strategic pause” through the end of 2021 before passing their budget.

Manchin’s opposition to some of his party’s most progressive priorities has earned him much criticism, including from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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“I believe that now is the time, finally, for Congress to stand up for working families and have the courage to take on the big money interests and wealthy campaign contributors who have so much power over the economic and political life of our country,” Sanders wrote in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia’s largest newspaper.

“Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote ‘yes.’ We now have only 48. Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.”

In response, Manchin said in a statement that Sanders does not understand the issues facing the state of West Virginia.

“This isn’t the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state,” he said.

“Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that.”

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.