Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinArizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema Biden seeks to save what he can from Build Back Better On The Money — Labor chief touts efforts to promote job growth MORE (D-W.Va.) is stepping down from an honorary leadership position at No Labels, a group that was founded to foster bipartisan cooperation in Washington.
“Given my position as a sitting United States senator, who cannot be involved in the day-to-day decision making of the organization, I believe it is appropriate for me at this time to step down as honorary co-chair,” Manchin said in a statement. “I still support the original goals of No Labels and will continue to work with them to foster bipartisan communication and bring some common sense back to Washington.”
His resignation follows the group's backing Rep. Cory GardnerCory GardnerEleven interesting races to watch in 2022 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules Gun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA MORE (R) in his successful challenge of Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery Udall11 former Democratic senators call for 'meaningful reform to Senate rules' Kennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package MORE (D) in Colorado. The endorsement from No Labels outraged Democrats, including Manchin.
No Labels launched in 2010 with the stated mission of ending gridlock, but has been accused of violating its bipartisan ethos.
Yahoo News obtained an internal document earlier this year that suggested the group was hoping for a shift in the Senate majority, so they could then “bridge the gap between Congress and the White House.”
It was the group’s backing of Gardner that reportedly infuriated Democrats and Manchin.
Margaret Kimbrell, No Labels executive director, stood behind the Gardner endorsement in a statement Friday.
"We were proud to support Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner who has been a leader at No Labels working with colleagues across the aisle. We repeatedly invited his opponent in the Colorado Senate race — incumbent Senator Mark Udall — to join the group, to attend meetings, and offered him the Problem Solver Seal if he would agree to some simple bipartisan goals. Senator Udall chose not to participate in any way on any level," she said.
"And this situation put Senator Manchin, as an incumbent Democratic senator, in a politically awkward position with the Senate leadership."
Manchin’s decision to leave No Labels doesn’t mean he’s satisfied with the state of play in Congress. He has repeatedly expressed frustration about partisanship in the chamber and suggested he might leave the Senate before the end of his term to run for governor of West Virginia.
Manchin told TIME magazine that he would probably make a decision on a gubernatorial run in the first quarter of next year, after the Senate comes back in January.
— This story was updated at 11:15 a.m.