Sen. Manchin directed federal funds to his wife's organizations

 January 21, 2023

According to a new report from Fox Business, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has "steered" a substantial amount of federal funds to his wife's organizations. 

Manchin, as we will see, maintains that he did nothing wrong.

Fox Business based its report on a direct review of the grants and loans that Manchin's wife, Gayle Manchin, received from the federal government during the past several years.

Manchin, during this period of time, has been a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, the committee that oversees discretionary spending bills.

The details

According to Fox's report, Manchin directed federal funding to at least three organizations that his wife worked for. Fox, additionally, says that Manchin took action that indirectly benefited a fourth organization with ties to his wife.

Fox provides examples. And, one example involved the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a federal-state partnership that looks to economically help the Appalachian area. The relationship between the ARC and Gayle Manchin is that Gayle Manchin was named the co-chair of the ARC by the Biden administration in April 2021.

Fox reports:

While the [ARC] has received annual funding of roughly $165 million to $200 million from Congress since 2019, it received a staggering $1 billion in late 2021 under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Sen. Manchin had co-sponsored and championed.

Another example provided by Fox is that of Bethany College in West Virginia. The relationship between the school and Manchin's wife is that Gayle Manchin was the trustee from 2012 to 2021. According to Fox, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2018, awarded Bethany College $39.6 million in loans, and Manchin was described as being "instrumental" in making this happen.

Fox goes on to provide other similar examples.

Manchin's responds

A spokesperson for Manchin has provided a statement in response to Fox's report. And, in that statement, Manchin, essentially, denies any wrongdoing.

"Senator Manchin’s position on the Senate Appropriations Committee uniquely positions him to fight for causes important to West Virginia," the spokesperson says.

"The loans and grants specially outlined in this article were all announced with bipartisan support from both state and federal legislators representing West Virginia," he adds.

It's not necessarily the most convincing statement. To many, this looks a lot like corruption, and the argument that it's not corruption because it received bipartisan support doesn't contradict the allegation that corruption is taking place.

One has to wonder just how widespread stuff like this is in Congress. The unfortunate fact is that it's likely much more common than the average American realizes.

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