Despite his repeated campaign rhetoric of putting West Virginia ahead of his party leaders’ narrow partisan agenda in Washington, liberal Governor Joe Manchin (D-WV) is already signaling that he plans to side with his anti-coal, pro-stimulus Democrat party bosses over the best interests of his constituents.
As Roll Call noted, Manchin “campaigned on his opposition to President Barack Obama’s signature legislative policies and a pledge to challenge the liberal Democratic agenda and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)” while pursuing his personal ambitions.
But today, amid rumors that the Democrats’ reckless spending, tax hikes and job-killing anti-coal policies might drive him to break with his party, Manchin promised to be a “lifelong Democrat” in Washington, doubling down on his commitment to anti-coal U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who spearheaded the failed $787 billion stimulus debacle and strongly supports a job-killing cap-and-trade energy tax.
Notably, Manchin disregarded Reid’s anti-coal rhetoric, including his assertion that “coal makes us sick” and is “ruining our country… ruining our world.” Manchin also accepted $10,000 in campaign cash from Reid’s political action committee during his Senate bid.
“Joe Manchin promised to put his state first while hunting for votes in West Virginia, but just a week after the election, it’s clear that he’ll do the exact opposite in Washington,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Communications Director Brian Walsh.
“After lining his campaign war chest with his party bosses’ cash, Manchin is now doubling down on his commitment to join them in rubberstamping President Obama’s liberal, job-killing agenda in the Senate,” Walsh continued. “We look forward to hearing Joe Manchin explain how backing an anti-coal, pro-stimulus, and pro-ObamaCare liberal like Harry Reid is ‘putting West Virginia first.’”
Senator Reid Attacked The Coal Industry In 2008 By Saying, “Coal Makes Us Sick.” HARRY REID: “We talk about cost competitiveness, but the one thing we fail to talk about is those costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world.” (Fox News, “Special Report,” 7/1/08)
In June 2008, Reid Voted For Cloture On Barbara Boxer’s 2008 Cap-And-Trade Legislation. “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Boxer, D-Calif., substitute amendment no. 4825 that would cap greenhouse gas emissions nationwide and set up a trading system for companies to buy and sell emissions allowances.” (S 3036; CQ Vote #145: Motion Rejected 48-36: R 7-32; D 39-4; I 2-0, 6/6/08, Reid Voted Yea)
In April 2009, Reid Suggested That Cap-And-Trade Revenue Could Pay For Health Care Reform. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested the $646 billion from cap and trade could be used to launch health-care reform, a key element in Obama’s ambitious social agenda. That produced such an outcry that Reid backpedaled to say he was merely noting the coincidence that cap and trade would raise the same amount as needed for the first phase of health care.” (Steve Huntley, “Carbon Tax Swap Better Than Cap And Trade,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/3/09)
In August 2009, Reid Indicated That He Intended To Pass An Emissions Trading Bill Before The Year’s End. “Now, the Senate is marching down a similar road, with Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada indicating that he intends to pass an emissions trading bill before year’s end.” (William O’Keefe, “Cap-And-Trade Would Make The American Dream A Nightmare,” U.S. News And World Report Online, 8/18/09)
When Manchin Appeared At A Press Conference With Reid (D-NV), Reid Piled On The Praise, Noting Manchin “Returns His Phone Calls Very Quickly.” HARRY REID: “Now, the speaker mentioned Joe Manchin. I so admire this man. So admire his working with us. As I told people assembled a little earlier, he returns his phone calls very quickly. He is a person willing to take a stand on issues that are difficult and I think there are issues we all agree on. I so admire this man, I’ve gotten to know him and it is with a great deal of pleasure I call my friend, Governor Manchin of West Virginia.” (DNC Press Conference, Video, 6/10/08)
Manchin Said Reid Was “Fantastic” To Work With. MANCHIN: “And if I might say both these leaders return their calls very quickly if they don’t pick them up on the first ring. I am so proud to be here with these two outstanding leaders and the leader of our Democrat National Committee, my good friend Governor Howard Dean and he is been somebody I’ve enjoyed working with. And with Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Reid here who has just been fantastic to work with.” (DNC Press Conference, Video, 6/10/08)
Manchin: “Harry Reid Is The Most Decent Person.” “Gov. Joe Manchin said removing Sen. Robert Byrd from his post as chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee could be damaging to West Virginia. But Manchin said he isn’t sure if he believes the reports that Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., is plotting to quietly wrest the spot from Byrd, D-W.Va. ‘I know all the players,’ the governor said. ‘Harry Reid is the most decent person. I know his respect for Sen. Robert Byrd.’” (Jake Stump, “Manchin Doubts Byrd Reports,” The Charleston [WV] Daily Mail, 10/30/08)
When Manchin Was Asked If He Would Vote For Reid For Leader, He Said He Would “Support The Person Who Supports West Virginia.” “‘I’ll support the person who supports West Virginia,’ Manchin told me when I asked if he would vote for Reid as Senate leader. When I asked if Harry Reid supports West Virginia, Manchin repeated, ‘I’m going to support the person who supports West Virginia and I’m not going to support the person who doesn’t support West Virginia.’ He continued, saying that a Senate leader’s position on energy policy has to be one that benefits West Virgina.” (Patricia Murphy, “Joe Manchin Not Endorsing Reid For Leader, Obama For President,” Politics Daily, 10/25/10)
Sen. Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund Donated $10,000 To Gov. Joe Manchin. (Federal Election Commission, Office of the Secretary of the Senate, 8/16/10)
Sen. Dick Durbin’s Prairie PAC Donated $5,000 To Manchin. (Federal Election Commission, Office of the Secretary of the Senate, 8/18/10)
Sen. Chuck Schumer’s IMPACT PAC Donated $10,000 To Manchin. (Federal Election Commission, Office of the Secretary of the Senate, 8/16/10)