Manchin on his increased call for bipartisanship: Capitol riot ‘changed me’

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he increased his calls for bipartisanship after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol “changed” him.

Manchin, who holds a massive amount of influence in an evenly divided Senate, made the comment during an interview that aired on CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Thursday. He said that the nation shouldn’t be so divided to the point where people “want to go to war with each other.”

Five people died as a result of the riot, which delayed the certification of President Biden’s Electoral College victory, and hundreds of people have since been arrested in connection to the breach.

“Jan. 6 changed me. And I was very clear with everybody, I never thought in my life — I never read in history books — to where our form of government had been attacked and where our seat of government which is Washington, D.C., our own Capitol, by our own people,” Manchin said.

“Now the British did it, but not Americans. So something told me, ‘Wait a minute, pause. Hit the pause button, something’s wrong. You can’t have this many people split to where they want to go to war with each other,’” the centrist senator continued.

The West Virginia Democrat is a key vote as Democrats seek to move forward with President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled earlier this week that Democrats may use budget reconciliation to pass the proposal, which allows the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority. The mechanism was used to pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill last month.

But Manchin has consistently been critical of the legislative tactic and has also repeatedly vowed to not get rid of the filibuster, another tactic that has come under fire as Democrats seek to push forward with major policy changes.

Manchin reiterated to CNN that he would not get rid of the filibuster and said that budget reconciliation was “never intended to be our main focus or our main vehicle for legislation. That’s not legislating. It has to be used from time to time. I understand that.”

“There’s a time and a place,” he said.

Tags 50-50 Senate Capitol breach Capitol riot COVID-19 relief Filibuster Infrastructure Joe Biden Joe Manchin Reconciliation Stimulus West Virginia

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