Sen. Manchin: Time for 'New Era of Bipartisanship' Senate Energy and Natural Resources Ranking Member Senator Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., in 2019. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 06 January 2021 09:58 PM
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., urged colleagues to work together and avoid further dividing the American people.
Manchin, a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, released a statement following apparent Democrat victories in Georgia's Senate runoffs on Tuesday that forms a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber.
Given the new Senate makeup, Manchin and fellow moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., likely will play important roles, per Fox News.
"Now, more than ever, we must enter a new era of bipartisanship in Washington," Manchin tweeted Wednesday. "With tight margins in the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans are faced with a decision to either work together to put the priorities of our nation before partisan politics or double down on the dysfunctional tribalism."
Manchin has a history of breaking party ranks to vote in line with Republican-leaning policies. He voted in favor of confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. He also supported Trump's border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
While Manchin has said he will not vote to do away with the filibuster, Senate Minority Leader – and likely the next majority leader — Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Wednesday did not rule out backing a progressive push to rule out the practice.
Some liberals have expressed the desire to expand the Supreme Court so Biden can pack it with left-leaning jurists. Manchin has said he would not vote to increase the court's size.
Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Jon Ossoff appeared to defeat Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., in Tuesday night’s runoffs.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast tiebreaking votes if the Senate is deadlocked.
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