The West Virginia Democrat has told associates he has a plan to leave his party if his liberal colleagues cannot find a way to cut down the social spending bill
Manchin wants to see the $3.5T budget reconciliation plan cut to $1.75T
If Manchin follows through with the plan, he would switch from Democrat to Independent
Sen. Joe Manchin is reportedly considering leaving the Democratic Party.
The West Virginia Democrat has told associates he has a plan to leave his party if his liberal colleagues cannot find a way to cut down the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan to $1.75 trillion, according to left-leaning publication Mother Jones.ADVERTISEMENTi-amphtml-sizer">
If Manchin follows through with the plan, he would switch from Democrat to Independent.template type="amp-mustache"">>/amp-minute-media-player">>
The senator reportedly has a two-part plan for his exit. First, he would send a letter to Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, asking to be removed from leadership, as he currently serves as the vice chairman of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications committee.
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGEi-amphtml-sizer">
Manchin says he would then wait to see if that showed Democrats how serious he was about leaving if negotiations don't go his way. Then, after about a week, he would change his voter registration from Republican to Democrat.
'It's bulls***,' Manchin said of the report he was considering leaving the party. 'I have no control over rumors.'
'I’ve been walking around here telling everybody around here the same thing,' he said, after reporters pounced on the senator to confirm the report.
Asked if he was staying in the Democratic Party and caucus, he said: 'I am where I am.'i-amphtml-sizer">
Asked about the report by DailyMail.com, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: 'I’m not going to speak on an anonymous report about a senator that can speak for himself.'
Still, the report serves as a warning to progressives to get serious about compromise.
On Tuesday, progressives who met with Biden said his bottom line number was $1.9T to $2.2T, though they wanted it to be much higher.
'It's not the number that we want. We have consistently tried to make it as high as possible,' Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told reporters outside the White House after their two hour meeting with the president.ADVERTISEMENTi-amphtml-sizer">
Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, is a key moderate Democrat in the Senate, and their votes remain the last bulwark against their party's massive social spending bill.
It is not clear how Manchin's potential party change would affect his voting, as the only two other Independents in the Senate, Bernie Sanders and Angus King, still caucus with Democrats.
Manchin met with President Biden on Tuesday, as well as Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the House Progressive Caucus this week to try to find common ground.
Manchin has repeatedly pushed back against his fellow Democrats' penchant for spending, warning that it could create an 'entitlement mentality' and sounding the alarm on rampant inflation.
Manchin even dared his party to elect more progressives if they wanted to pursue the massive spending.
'All they need to do is we have to elect more - I guess for them to get theirs - elect more liberals but I’m not asking them to change,' he told reporters late last month.
Manchin on Tuesday appeared to try to tamp down the intra-party war he's been embroiled in, throwing his arm around Sanders, who is pushing for a much larger package, and asking the press to take a photo.
Sanders wrote in West Virginia's largest newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail, turning up the heat on Manchin back at home to vote for the social spending bill.
The friendly encounter came after a fiery exchange where Manchin lashed out at 'out-of-stater' Sanders after his op-ed ran over the weekend.ADVERTISEMENTi-amphtml-sizer">
Sanders's op-ed - titled Let's stand together to protect working families - highlighted the wealth disparities in the U.S. and claimed the Build Back Better plan would help shrink the gap.
'The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill, supported by President Biden and almost all Democrats in Congress, is an unprecedented effort to finally address the long-neglected crises facing working families and demand that the wealthiest people and largest corporations in the country start paying their fair share of taxes,' Sanders wrote.
Manchin immediately issued a stinging rebuke, taking to social media to condemn Sanders and accuse the twice-failed presidential candidate of having no idea of what was best for West Virginians.
'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,' Manchin wrote.
'Millions of jobs are open, supply chains are strained and unavoidable inflation taxes are draining workers' hard-earned wages as the price of gasoline and groceries continues to climb,' he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set an Oct. 31 deadline for Congress to pass the infrastructure plan and his budget package of social programs.
Manchin has expressed doubt a deal can be reached at the end of the month.
'There's an awful lot that's going on. I don't know how that would happen,' Manchin said Monday. 'But once you get a meeting of the minds, if you ever come to an agreement, a meeting of the minds, you might be able to work something out.'
Sinema, meanwhile, has dealt with her own onslaught from Democrats daring her to leave the party. Progressives in her state have already mounted a primary campaign against her, launching the Primary Sinema PAC.
- amp-img src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2021/10/20/05/49397659-0-image-m-60_1634704000886.jpg" width="85px" height="85px" i-amphtml-layout="fixed"">
>Joe Biden tells House progressives tuition-free community college is likely to be AXED from scaled-down $2 trillion spending plan
- amp-img src="https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2021/10/20/15/49421233-0-image-m-8_1634741185166.jpg" width="85px" height="85px" i-amphtml-layout="fixed"">
>Biden heads to his hometown of Scranton to pitch his trillion-dollar agenda after agreeing to ax free community college and make other cuts to break stalemate among warring Democrats
Sinema has been more tight-lipped about what she wants to see in a final budget reconciliation package, but reportedly opposes any tax increases on individuals and large corporations and has signaled she will not vote for the social spending plan until the House passes the $1.1T bipartisan infrastructure plan.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10112823/amp/Joe-Manchin-told-associates-considering-LEAVING-Democratic-party.html1388