Report: Manchin Hints at Leaving Democratic Party

Report: Manchin Hints at Leaving Democratic Party

According to a new report by political journalist David Corn, Sen. (D-W.Va.) has had enough.

Writing for the progressive magazine Mother Jones, Corn says that the West Virginia Democrat is privately admitting that he may leave the .

Manchin will allegedly defect on the condition that Democrats don’t lower the cost of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill to $1.75 trillion.

Indeed, Manchin has repeatedly shared his concerns about the bill’s $3.5 trillion price tag. He also will not support the legislation unless it includes the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for almost all abortions. (RELATED: Backdoor Gun Registry Reportedly Included in Multi-Trillion Dollar Bill)

What’s His Exit Strategy?

Corn describes Manchin’s rumored plan:

He told associates that he has a two-step plan for exiting the party. First, he would send a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, removing himself from the Democratic leadership of the Senate. (He is vice chairman of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications committee.) Manchin hopes that would send a signal. 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. In either event, he would hold great sway over this half of Congress.

SEE ALSO: Senior House Democrats Announce Retirement From Congress

Regardless of the party he caucuses with, without Manchin’s support for Biden’s budget, Democrats get none of the social welfare programs they want.

Manchin Responds to Rumors

In response to the growing speculation, Manchin blasted reports that he’s considering abandoning the Democratic Party. However, many liberal Twitter users appeared unconvinced.

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE

What Does His Future Hold?

Meanwhile, Manchin is up for reelection in 2024 in a state Donald Trump won in 2020 by 38.9 points. Notwithstanding the Mountain State’s increasingly partisan slant, Manchin has shown a remarkable ability to win in statewide races for a Democrat. He also chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, critical to guiding West Virginia’s energy future. Although it’s unclear if he would have to relinquish his gavel if he switched parties.

The New York Post adds:

Per the report, Manchin allegedly said he was prepared to initiate the exit plan this week, and had mentioned the possibility to the president. However, he didn’t take that step after he spoke with Sanders and other top Democrats early in the week. 

If he does not leave the party due to the , Manchin has reportedly told associates he is still likely to change parties by November 2022.

At the same time, Manchin hasn’t commented on if he’ll run for reelection in 2024. (RELATED: Manchin and Sinema Imperil Biden Agenda Hours Before Vote)

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