In a surprising announcement, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia revealed that he will not seek reelection to the Senate. Manchin, who has often positioned himself as a centrist, has clashed with President Joe Biden on several key issues, causing significant headaches for the Democratic Party. While Manchin initially supported Biden’s policies, his support has plummeted in recent months, with a significant drop in votes aligned with the president’s position. Some attribute this shift to Manchin’s need to appeal to conservative voters in his state, as he faces a tough reelection battle. However, with his retirement now on the horizon, it raises questions about why Manchin has been so keen to distance himself from President Biden.
Joe vs. Joe: Four times Manchin broke with Biden ahead of possible presidential bid
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 10, 2023
One of the most notable instances of Manchin’s opposition to Biden’s agenda was his role in sinking the Build Back Better Plan. Manchin, along with Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, negotiated key provisions of the legislation, but ultimately came out as a hard “no,” effectively derailing the bill. Manchin cited concerns about the cost and scope of the legislation as his reasons for opposing it. This move dealt a significant blow to Biden’s agenda and highlighted the power of Manchin as a swing vote in the Senate.
Manchin also made waves when he became the first Democrat to oppose one of Biden’s judicial nominations. He voted against the confirmation of Nancy Abudu to the U.S. Court of Appeals, citing concerns about the polarization of the judicial system. While Abudu was ultimately confirmed, Manchin’s vote raised eyebrows and showcased his independent streak.
Furthermore, Manchin also expressed frustration with Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, a significant legislative victory for the president. Despite playing a major role in pushing the bill through the Senate, Manchin later reversed on his support, criticizing the administration’s execution of the law and accusing Biden of using it to advance a “radical climate agenda.” He even threatened to vote to repeal the act if given the opportunity.
Overall, Senator Joe Manchin’s retirement announcement comes as a surprise and leaves many wondering what he may pursue next. His clashes with President Biden and his opposition to key Democratic priorities have made him a thorn in the party’s side. As the 2024 election cycle approaches, it remains to be seen how Manchin’s retirement will impact the political landscape and whether he will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in another capacity.