West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin headed to Texas recently to attend a fundraiser with a host committee that included several wealthy Republican donors, The Texas Tribune reported. Along with Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Manchin has proven to be an obstacle to moving voting rights legislation through the Senate.
Manchin had voted with former President Donald Trump more often than against him. He’s been a thorn in the Democrats’ side now that Republicans are trying to restrict voting rights after Trump lost the election to Joe Biden in both the electoral and popular vote. I’m not sure what Manchin’s deal is. Maybe he’s just on a power trip. The West Virginia Democrat claims to want bipartisanship in a climate that shows that that is impossible.
According to Politico, Manchin wasn’t well-received when he attended the caucus luncheon for Senate Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday.
“At a caucus luncheon for Senate Dems on Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was booed for mentioning the deficit while speaking to his colleagues, sources tell Playbook,” the outlet reports. “One source described the West Virginian as being “jokingly booed” by the other senators, but another source in the room did not see it that way.”
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“Manchin views the growing national debt as a heavy burden that will drag down the economy, threaten national security and impose a heavy burden on future generations — fairly typical budget-hawk beliefs,” the report adds. “Does Manchin’s position — and that he was bringing it up at a meeting of his fellow Senate Dems — mean that we’re in store for even more haggling over the price tag of the reconciliation bill? Stay tuned.”
Stay tuned, indeed. Manchin is a wild card with Democrats. He voted against Trump’s tax cuts for the uber-wealthy, and I understand concerns about the national debt. Still, we’re in unprecedented times with the pandemic that has walloped Americans across the country, both mentally and health-wise. And we’re working against Republicans who seem to be on the side of COVID-19. These are desperate times, making it the time to spend before it’s too late to fix this problem that went unaddressed last year during the Trump era.
Featured image via Ralph Alswang/Flickr, under Creative Commons license 2.0