WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is urging lawmakers to join him in signing a pledge to work together in a bipartisan manner and not campaign against each other.
“We have all have a pride of our state and people in our state and they deserve better than what we’re giving them right now,” Manchin said on the Senate Floor Tuesday.
Manchin signed the pledge to “return to an era of bipartisan cooperation and agreement in order to restore civility to the United States Senate and our political discourse.”
Manchin pledged to:
- Not campaign against a sitting colleague;
- Not directly fundraise against them;
- Not distribute any direct mail against them;
- Not appear or endorse any advertisements directed at them;
- Not use or endorse social media campaigns that attack them.
During a visit to West Virginia last week, Vice President Mike Pence called Manchin out for voting against the GOP tax reform plan. Manchin responded the next day on MetroNews “Talkline” saying Pence’s remarks are an example of why “Washington sucks.”
Manchin said in his Tuesday floor speech it’s time to put party affiliation aside and work together.
“For some reason we’re all blocked from doing the right thing of what we know is right — sitting down and not accusing each other, not working and conspiring against each other and not getting basically to the point that someone might be talking with me one day, but then that weekend they might be in my state campaigning against me,” he said.
Despite disagreements with Republican colleagues, Manchin said he remained committed to working across the aisle to pass legislation that will improve the lives of all Americans.
“I’m probably one of the most centrist as far as being on more pieces of legislation in a bipartisan way. I’ve never looked at a Republican or a Democrat problem. I just looked at a problem that we had,” he said.
Manchin said every piece of legislation has something good included in it, but he wants to work to it better.
“If you can make something better then I need to sit down and work with you because I don’t have all the answers. We both have a desire to make the best piece of policy that we can and legislation, so we should be working together,” he told senators.