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Manchin Won’t Rule Out Leaving Democratic Party

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Joe Manchin

On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA.) told reporters that he won’t rule out leaving the Democratic Party, as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) did last week, but he added it won’t be in the near future.

“I’ll look at all of these things. I’ve always looked at all those things, but I have no intention of doing anything right now,” Manchin told CNN’s Manu Raju

“Whether I do something later, I can’t tell you what the future is going to bring,” he added.

Manchin, along with Sinema, has helped derail several pieces of legislation backed by the party’s rank-and-file members, including the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill. Manchin has also opposed efforts by Democrats to end the Senate filibuster rules and has blocked White House appointees.

“I’m not a Washington Democrat, I don’t know what to tell you. But I have a lot of friends who aren’t Washington Republicans, and if a Washington independent is, as I said, more comfortable, you know, we’ll see what happens there, we’ll have to look,” the 75-year-old senator told reporters.

This is not the first time Manchin has suggested that he may leave the Democratic party. In October 2021, Manchin threatened to switch his affiliation to independent after disagreements with colleagues over the Biden administration’s failed Build Back Better plan.

“I said, 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 at the time, describing his discussions with fellow Democrats in Congress.

Manchin’s comments come a week after his Senate colleague Sinema announced that she had registered as an independent, leaving the Democratic Party to become the third independent in the upper chamber.

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