McConnell: ‘It would be a great idea’ for Manchin to switch parties

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday told reporters that “it would be a great idea” for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to switch to the Republican Party. 

The comment came after McConnell and Manchin had a meeting as negotiations continue for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, The Associated Press reported.

“As you know, he likes to talk,” McConnell said of Manchin. “It would not surprise you to know that I’ve suggested for years it would be a great idea, representing a deep-red state like West Virginia, for him to come over to our side.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” McConnell added.

Manchin, a former governor and centrist Democrat from ruby-red West Virginia, has quashed thoughts on switching parties often in his time in political office.

Manchin is known for his centrist views on some issues, as he has held up a number of Democratic bills while wielding strong negotiating power in the 50-50 Senate. 

Other Democrats have expressed frustration with Manchin over his hesitancy to back the $2 trillion Build Back Better bill before the end of 2021.

One Democratic senator, under the condition of anonymity, told the AP on Thursday that they were “very frustrated” with the situation. 

Manchin’s latest objection to the bill includes a one-year extension of an expanded child tax credit in the proposal, saying it will be costly because Congress would likely renew it every year.

The Hill has reached out to Manchin’s office for comment.

Tags 50-50 Senate Build Back Better bill Joe Biden Joe Manchin Mitch McConnell West Virginia

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