On Thursday, 76-year-old West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin revealed that he will not be running for reelection in 2024. This decision almost guarantees a Republican Senate victory in a solidly red state.
President Biden commented on Manchin’s decision not to seek reelection, praising the many pieces of legislation accomplished with Manchin’s support despite their often contentious relationship.
He said Joe Manchin had committed himself to serving the people of his home, West Virginia, for over forty years and served as a state lawmaker, secretary of state, governor, and senator. Biden said he and Manchin worked together to get things done for middle-class Americans throughout his time as Vice President and now as President.
Bide said the Senator’s contribution to West Virginia and the country is something “Joe, Gayle, and the whole Manchin family should be proud of.”
Biden mentioned Manchin as having contributed to recent bipartisan triumphs such as the infrastructure package, gun safety legislation, and the PACT Act, which expanded benefits for veterans.
The president also brought up Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed in 2022 with only Democratic votes in the House and Senate and has been a source of tension between the senator and the White House, and his vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
In his statement on Thursday, Manchin said he planned to travel the country to “see if there is an interest in forming a movement to organize the center and bring Americans together.” Manchin has not ruled out the possibility of an independent presidential candidacy.
The Biden White House had an up-and-down relationship with Manchin, who provided a vital vote to some of the administration’s essential ideas but opposed others.
After the government cut billions of dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act, a broad health and climate measure that included many of Biden’s legislative aims, Manchin approved the bill. The senator has subsequently voiced occasional disapproval of the administration’s handling of the law’s implementation.
Manchin also rejected Biden’s requests to change the filibuster rule in the Senate to pass voting rights legislation.
The White House has often claimed that tensions with Manchin are overstated, claiming instead that the two sides enjoy a “respectful” relationship.