Sen. Manchin touts bipartisanship ranking

PARKERSBURG – A senator from West Virginia is pointing to a report that he’s the most bipartisan lawmaker in Congress.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, voted with the Republicans 49.8 percent of the time, according to the CQ Roll Call Party Unity scoring.

“I am again honored to be ranked the most bipartisan member of Congress,” Manchin said. “I pride myself on being a Senator who will reach across the aisle and work with my colleagues to do what is best for West Virginia and our nation.”

The tally was based on votes taken in 2019. Manchin also was cited as the most bipartisan in 2018.

Sponsoring bills and resolutions is important, but it’s the “hard votes that really matter,” Manchin said.

“We saved health care for people with pre-existing conditions because a handful of Republicans were willing to buck their leadership and do what they knew was right,” Manchin said.

Manchin was governor before he was elected to Senate in 2010 in a special election after Robert C. Byrd died. On nominations, the president should have a “fair chance to pick his team,” Manchin said.

“When I’m considering nominees political party does not factor in,’ he said. “I look to see if the nominee is qualified for the job to which they have been appointed and cast my vote accordingly.”

Melody Potter, chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, said the “single most important vote Sen. Joe Manchin could ever make was to remove President Trump from office.”

“He caved to the pressure of Sen. Chuck Schumer and sided with the most extreme elements of the left,” Potter said. “The myth of bipartisanship and that West Virginia Democrats are somehow different was destroyed for Sen. Manchin with that vote. He is a Schumer puppet.”

Schumer, from New York, is the Democratic minority leader in the Senate. Trump was acquitted in the Senate of the House impeachment charges on a party-line vote, except for Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted with the Democrats.

An email for a comment from the West Virginia Democratic Party was not immediately returned.

The report also showed that Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie K. Hizono, Any Klobuchar, Patty Murray, Tina Smith and Elizabeth Warren and Republican Sens. John Barrasso, Deb Fischer, James M. Inhofe and Jim Risch voted 100 percent of the time with their party.

“I truly believe that to be bipartisan, you can’t think that Republicans are wrong and Democrats are right, or vice versa. We must approach all legislation with an open mind. Sadly, as these numbers show, we are seeing less and less of that bipartisanship each year,” Manchin said. “Instead of removing the filibuster and further inflaming the passions of partisanship, we should restore the 60-vote threshold to force Democrats and Republicans to work together for all Americans.”

In the House of Representatives, Democrats Nanette Barragan, Danny K. Davis, Susan A. Davis, Eliot L. Engel, Anna G. Eshoo, Sheila Jackson Lee, Joseph P. Kennedy III, John Lewis, Richard E. Neal, Chellie Pingree, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, Lori Trahan, Peter Welch and Republican Dan Bishop voted with their party all the time.