WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he offered to leave the Democratic Party and instead be independent if he were causing a “problem” for the Democrat caucus.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Manchin commented on a report from Mother Jones that he has privately told colleagues he plans to leave the Democrat Party if his demands weren’t met by President Joe Biden on the social spending bill.
“If me being a moderate centrist Democrat if that causes you a problem, let me know, and I’d switch to be an independent, but I’d still be caucusing with Democrats,” he said.
Joe Manchin is one of two Democrats who are opposing key parts of Biden’s package. The other is Krysten Sinema of Arizona, who has said she does not agree with Democrats hiking taxes on the wealthy and bigger corporations.
“That’s the only thing that was ever discussed. No one accepted that, and I just said, ‘I’ll make that offer if you need it,'” Joe Manchin said on Thursday. He went on to add that the offer was not accepted.
In the report from Mother Jones’s David Corn, Manchin reportedly told colleagues he would leave the party if Biden did not bring the social spending bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, and he would declare himself an independent.
When reporters asked him to comment on the story Wednesday Manchin said, “It’s bulls***.”
If Joe Manchin decided to leave the party and not caucus with Democrats, according to the Mother Jones story, he would likely be giving up his own power to the Republican Party and handing them control of the United States Senate.
“Joe’s not gonna we’re gonna do that. He’s like a bunch of moderate Democrats in Texas: they were born that way and they’re never going to change,” Republican Senator John Cornyn said.