Ahead of the November elections, various Democrats expressed support for bold initiatives such as ending the filibuster or packing the Supreme Court if their party won a governing majority.
After the Democratic Party victories in the Georgia runoff races earlier this month, it might seem that party leaders are poised to pay off on their promises. One prominent moderate, however, appears prepared to stand in the way of his own party’s progressive wing.
“It’s all true, Bret”
According to the Washington Examiner, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has not yet been convinced to fall in line, which could spell the demise of the most audacious points on the Democratic agenda.
With a 50-50 split in the Senate and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris available to cast a tie-breaking vote, Democrats will need the support of all members to pass party-line proposals.
In a Fox News Channel interview on Monday, Manchin told Special Report host Bret Baier that he opposed certain plans for exploiting majority control in the chamber expressed by some of his Democratic colleagues.
Reiterating remarks he made in November, at which time he unequivocally spoke out against ending the filibuster and adding more seats to the nation’s highest court. Furthermore, he expressed disapproval of the far-left idea of defunding police departments or imposing Medicare for All nationwide.
Asked if all of those opinions remained the same now, Manchin said: “It’s all true, Bret. It’s all the same. Nothing’s changed.”
“I’m very comfortable”
He went on to explain that he considers it his job as a centrist “to do everything within [his] power to bring this country together, to heal the country, and to work in a bipartisan fashion, which is the reason that we have the Senate.”
Manchin told Baier that he is determined to work “with the minority and the majority,” reiterating his call “to bring this country together.”
Pressing the issue further, Baier brought up the potential that his guest would face mounting pressure from within the Democratic caucus to fall in line, but the senator declared that he would not be swayed by any such pressure.
“But I intend to stay where I’m at,” he said. “I can work. I’m very comfortable. And we will just have to see what happens. But I’m — the pressure doesn’t mean — I’m too old to be pressured. My goodness, what are they going to do to me?”
Manchin went on to break with his party over the issue of the second impeachment of President Trump, an article of which passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday with the support of a handful of Republicans. Nevertheless, the West Virginia Democrat said the “ill-advised” plan is doomed to fail, as are efforts to punish GOP lawmakers who objected to the results of the Electoral College vote tally.