Kyrsten Sinema’s departure from the Democrat Party rocked the Senate earlier this month. While she will still be voting with them and is likely to support Chuck Schumer’s status as Senate Majority Leader, it has made many leftist pundits concerned. Now, another Democrat has expressed reservations about his party’s direction.
Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia said Sunday he’ll “let you know later what I decide to do.” It appears to be a ploy to get his energy policies that benefit his constituents back in play after he got shafted in a deal to support the Inflation Reduction Act. According to Axios:
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Manchin told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that he would wait and see how the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act “plays out.”
“If people are trying to stop something from doing so much good because of politics, thinking that somebody else will get credit for it, let’s see how that plays out,” Manchin said. “I’ll let you know later what I decide to do, but right now I have no intention of changing anything.”
Manchin’s remarks come after Sen. Krysten Sinema (I-Ariz.) announced this month that she was leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent, sending shockwaves throughout the Senate.
Manchin released a statement last week criticizing the Senate’s failure to pass his energy permitting reform amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, saying: “I serve West Virginians and the American people with an independent voice, not a political party.”
The dynamic here puts Democrats in an awkward position. If they meet his demands and work in his pro-energy policies into legislation, they will get lambasted by the radical progressive wing of the party. If they don’t, they could lose him.
For Manchin’s part, he doesn’t seem eager to leave the party that has kept him in power for decades. This seems to be more of a bargaining tool than a real threat, but nothing appears to be off the table.