Democrats reach turning point with Manchin
By Hanna Trudo - 06/07/21 06:50 PM EDT
Democrats say they’re at a turning point with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Manchin’s decision to make known his opposition to the party’s sweeping voting rights legislation, a top priority for many Democrats, has raised serious questions about whether they can enact the bold agenda envisioned for President Biden’s first term.
Manchin and another centrist, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), have created irksome obstacles within their own caucus, and Democrats have yet to land on a strategy for dealing with the internal dissent.
A host of Democratic leaders and progressive activists who spoke to The Hill on Monday expressed a mix of resignation and anger over Manchin’s weekend op-ed voicing his objection to the For The People Act. Several noted there appeared to be no heads up to the White House or key Democratic leaders that it was coming. And it was widely seen as an abrasive move.
While a number of Democrats were careful with their public remarks, anger is building given the difficulties to passing major structural reforms now coming from within the party.
“Anger at Manchin and Sinema, when it comes to response, it’s nearly as strong as what we saw under [former President] Trump,” said Brianna Wu, executive director of Rebellion PAC, a left-wing political action committee attempting to recruit primary challengers to centrist lawmakers.
A vocal portion of the party believes that challenging Manchin and Sinema from the left is the best way forward.