Mitch McConnell says ‘it would be a great idea’ for Joe Manchin to switch parties

Mitch McConnell says ‘it would be a great idea’ for Joe Manchin to switch parties

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

 Mitch McConnell said “it would be a great idea” for SJoe Manchin to switch parties.
Manchin is a longtime Democrat who’s previously shut down rumors about him leaving the party.
Manchin is a holdout on Biden’s massive social and climate spending bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “it would be a great idea” if Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who’s recently stalled President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, would become a Republican.

“Senator Manchin comes in frequently. As you know he likes to talk to you guys, he likes to talk to everybody, and I enjoy our conversations,” McConnell said during a Thursday news conference.

“It would not surprise you to know that I’ve suggested for years it would be a great idea, representing a deep red state like West Virginia, for him to come over to our side. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but he’d be the best one to answer that question,” the Kentucky Republican added.

“We do enjoy a cordial relationship, and we do appreciate the fact that he seems to be one of the few remaining centrists left in the Democratic party,” McConnell added. “They seem to have all gone hard left. Joe has resisted that, and I admire him for it.”

The comments come as rumors have swirled about Manchin potentially leaving the Democratic party, and as Manchin has regular meetings with Republicans such as McConnell.

Manchin, a longtime Democrat, has repeatedly shut down the speculation.

Since Biden took office and Democrats won a slim Senate majority, Manchin has held a unique outsized influence over the president’s agenda, which requires all 50 Democratic senators to be onboard with in order to move forward.

Manchin spoke candidly about his position in an October event at the Economic Club of Washington DC. “I don’t think the Rs would be any happier with me than Ds are right now,” he told the audience. “I mean, that’s about as blunt as I can put it. So I don’t know where in the hell I belong.”

As a moderate, Manchin regularly advocates for dealmaking across the aisle. He was a key force in negotiating the trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure package that Biden signed into law last month, which brings in new funding to improve the country’s roads, bridges, public transit and broadband access, among other investments.

But Manchin has slammed the brakes on Biden’s second massive spending bill that aims to dramatically boost the country’s social safety net and tackle climate change. The Democratic-led House passed its version of the legislation last month, but Senate Democrats’ chances of approving a bill by the end of the year appear slim because of Manchin. The West Virginia senator is in ongoing talks with Biden to reach a deal. 

 

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Politics, News, Mitch McConnell, Joe Manchin, Joe Biden, Build Back Better agenda, Build Back Better, Spending

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