Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) refused to answer questions about changing party affiliation. He took time with the media to chastise partisanship, saying Democrats and Republicans don’t precisely reflect his views.
“The D does not saddle me to everything the Democrats want to do is what’s right. I don’t think the Democrats have all the answers. I don’t think the Republicans are always wrong,” he said on CBS’s Face The Nation.
“They know how independent I am,” Manchin said of Democrats. “I serve West Virginians and the American people with an independent voice, not a political party.”
Manchin is facing serious questions about his allegiance to the Democratic party. In the 117th Congress, he and Arizona then-Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema opposed many of the progressive policies that were strongly supported throughout the caucus.
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The two were the moderate votes that lead to Senate inaction on several of Biden’s top priorities. Proposals such as the Child Care Tax Credit and measures for elder care in Build Back Better died at the feet of both Senate members.
The two are also strong advocates for the preservation of the Senate filibuster.
Sinema announced this month that she left the Democratic party, saying she “never fit neatly into any party box.” She now identifies as an Independent.
Her departure left many to speculate that Manchin would do the same. He has not committed to staying or leaving the party.
“If people are trying to stop something from doing so much good because of politics, thinking somebody else will get credit for it, let’s see how that plays out. And then I’ll let you know later what I decide to do,” he said.
The Democratic party had just secured a 51-49 majority in the Senate, including Sinema and Manchin.
Both Manchin and Sinema are up for reelection in 2024.
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