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Rumors Swirl That Manchin's About to Leave His Party. The West Virginia Democrat Responds.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin has reportedly told colleagues he's considering leaving the Democratic Party amid what has been a battle between moderates and progressives on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. 

Manchin wants the spending package to come down to $1.75 trillion. Additionally, he has expressed his opposition to key components of the bill such as Medicare and Medicaid expansion, a climate change provision, which would rip “the heart out of” Biden’s climate change agenda, and the child tax credit.

If he did leave the party, he’d reportedly become an Independent. 

The senator reportedly has a two-part plan for his exit. First, he would send a letter to Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, asking to be removed from leadership, as he currently serves as the vice chairman of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications committee.

Manchin says he would then wait to see if that showed Democrats how serious he was about leaving if negotiations don't go his way. Then, after about a week, he would change his voter registration [...]

Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, is a key moderate Democrat in the Senate, and their votes remain the last bulwark against their party's massive social spending bill. 

It is not clear how Manchin's potential party change would affect his voting, as the only two other Independents in the Senate, Bernie Sanders and Angus King, still caucus with Democrats.  (Daily Mail)

UPDATE: Manchin has denied that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party, calling the rumors "bullsh*t."

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