Report: Joe Manchin May Become an Independent After White House Accuses Him of Disloyalty

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a centrist Democrat vital to the fate of President Joe Biden's $3.5 government overhaul, updates reporters about his position on the bill, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. Despite months of being courted and cajoled, Sen. Joe Manchin is still not a yes …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) may reportedly become an independent after the Biden administration on Sunday accused the senator of disloyalty.

Following Manchin’s vocal opposition to Biden’s $1.9 trillion Build Back Better bill, the White House accused Manchin of breaching “his commitments to the President.”

The accusation may result in Manchin becoming an independent, though he would still caucus with Democrats, Axios reported.

Manchin is from West Virginia, a red state that Biden lost in 2020 by nearly 40 points.

“I’m from West Virginia,” he said Monday. “I’m not from where they’re [Democrats] from, and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period.”

For months Joe Biden tried to work out a deal with Manchin to enact the spending package in the 50/50 split Senate. Manchin maintained throughout the negotiations he opposed major provisions in the package.

In October, leaks indicated Manchin wanted to leave the Democrat party over fears his opposition to provisions in the radical package would embarrass the party.

But Manchin, who some say planted the leaks, immediately condemned the rumor. “I can’t control rumors, and it’s bullshit,” Manchin told reporters.

Over the weekend, Manchin announced on Fox News Sunday he would oppose the reconciliation package.

“This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do. And the president has worked diligently,” Manchin said. “He’s been wonderful to work with.”

Manchin’s announcement drew immediate backlash from the White House, which accused the senator of disloyalty.

“If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” the White House said.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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