Sen. Joe Manchin Demurs On Wanting Democrats To Stay In Power
On Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press,” Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) refused to say whether he wanted Democrats to maintain control of Congress after the next election.
Host Chuck Todd asked the conservative Democrat: “Do you hope Democrats keep control of the House and Senate?” Manchin replied: “I think people are sick and tired of politics, I really do. I think they’re sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting and feuding and holding pieces of legislation hostage because they didn’t get what they wanted…I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen.”
Todd interrupted, pressing Manchin to answer the question—he still didn’t provide a clear answer: “I can work on either side very easily.”
Manchin added: “I’ve always taken the approach, whoever you send me, that’s your representative and I respect them and I respect the state for the people they send and I give it my best to work with them and do the best for my country.”
The Senate is currently split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris‘s vote to overcome the tiebreak.
Earlier this week, the West Virginia senator made headlines for reaching a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Last Wednesday, Manchin announced he would support the climate, health care, taxes and deficit reduction package. The announcement was a breakthrough moment, as the inability to progress the package has been a year-long thorn in President Joe Biden‘s side.
“If enacted, this legislation will be historic, and I urge the Senate to move on this bill as soon as possible, and for the House to follow as well,” Biden said.
Manchin has faced attacks from the GOP, who seemingly felt betrayed by the surprise compromise. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to Twitter to lambast Manchin’s move: “Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation. Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs.”
In response to Republicans’ disappointment, on “Face the Nation” Manchin said: “I never told anybody that I wasn’t going to do something. If I had a chance to fix the energy policy of the United States of America, and I didn’t do it, shame on me. If I had the chance to reduce the amount of inflation of people in West Virginia and across the country are enduring right now, shame on me. … This is solutions Americans want. We were able to provide these solutions, let’s not make them political.”
This “Meet the Press” appearance follows another noteworthy interview Manchin gave this week. On “This Week,” the West Virginia senator didn’t answer the question about whether he would support a 2024 Biden re-election run.