Manchin warns Democrats: You can’t unite the country with ‘one-party’ rule

Washington, D.C., lawmakers, particularly members of his own party, ought to see Tuesday’s election results as wake-up call, according to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

Speaking Wednesday to reporters, the moderate Democrat referred to the results in Virginia — where Republicans won the races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general — as “unbelievable.” According to Manchin, it’s a sign that Republicans and Democrats need to “work together.”

“It’s unbelievable to see what went on in Virginia and then not just from the governor’s race, but all the way down that ticket. A good bit of changes happened,” Manchin said. “I think that we need to work together. That’s all. We just need to come together, which I’ve been preaching forever.”

Manchin, the rare Democrat to express concerns over the price tag of progressives’ spending proposals, pointed out that people in his home state are worried about inflation.

“Let’s start looking and working together, listening to our people back home,” he said. “I’ve been listening to the people in West Virginia. They’re concerned about inflation. They really have been for a long time.”

As The Hill reported, Manchin has urged his fellow Democrats not to rush as they look to ram President Joe Biden’s agenda through Congress.

Originally, progressives were seeking to to pass a $3 trillion bill full of funding for social and environmental programs, but with Manchin and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema refusing to get on board, Democratic leaders retooled the legislation into a $1.75 trillion bill.

But Manchin won’t yet commit to the new legislation, which Democrats are attempting to pass with a simple majority via the budget reconciliation process (meaning that in a 50-50 Senate, they can’t afford any defections).

“And for us to go down a path that we’ve been going and trying to accelerate it and it has been slowed down — I think we need to take our time and do it right,” Manchin said of the bill.

As Democrats look to pass the bill with zero GOP support, the West Virginia Democrat had words of caution for his colleagues.

“We have a divided country that needs to be united and you can’t unite it by just doing it by one-party system,” he said.

Democrats should be “cognizant” of Americans’ concerns, he added.

“We’re talking about revamping the whole entire tax code. That’s mammoth. We’ve had no hearings, no open hearings,” the West Virginia Democrat said. “They’re scared to death.”

“We just can’t just say, ‘Look we can do this, this and this and it will take care of it.’ We’ve got to be very careful,” he said.