It’s being reported that Joe Manchin has told his associates that he’s considering leaving the Democrat Party if Democrats refuse to budge on Biden’s huge $3.5T social spending bill.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) October 20, 2021
I know this is from David Corn and Mother Jones, but it’s still worth a read:
In recent days, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) has told associates that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill do not agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, according to people who have heard Manchin discuss this. Manchin has said that if this were to happen, he would declare himself an “American Independent.” And he has devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure.
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.
Looks like Manchin is really trying to exercise his power over these negotiations and strong arm Democrats into heeding his demands. A bold move to be sure, and the implications are that the Democrats could lose the Senate if Manchin chooses to caucus with Republicans.
I certainly wouldn’t mind him caucusing with Republicans, but I’m glad he’s not talking about joining the Republican Party. Because at heart he’s still a Democrat and he’d make a terrible Republican.
The question he needs to answer is if voters back home will support him or if they are more beholding to him being a Democrat.