CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin offered a tepid response to recent rankings on bipartisanship, using separate statistics to argue he is the most bipartisan member of Congress.
Manchin, D-W.Va., ranked 11th among 250 senators in a bipartisan index released last week by the Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
The analysis, which looked at senators who served between 1993 and 2018, scored lawmakers on how often their bills attract bipartisan sponsorship and how frequently lawmakers sponsor legislation introduced by people from across the aisle.
Manchin stressed the importance of bipartisanship in a statement released Monday.
“Bipartisanship isn’t just a political practice, it’s a value that I’ve lived by my whole life. Whether it’s in my political career or my private life, I have always tried to bring people together and come to a solution that everyone can live with. This value serves me well in the Senate because I believe in order to make lasting change that benefits every West Virginian, it must be done in a bipartisan way,” he said.
Manchin took a shot at the work of Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy; he pointed to a CQ Roll Call analysis released in February that found Manchin voted 53.3% against the majority of Senate Democrats, leading all congressional members when it comes to voting against one’s own party.
“Although introducing bipartisan legislation is a great start, casting hard votes — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — is when it counts. That’s why I am even more proud that based on voting record – the votes that decide the fate of everything from healthcare to our national defense — I am the most bipartisan Member in Congress,” Manchin said.
“That’s something I take pride in and will continue to strive for because it means that I will stand up to both Democrat and Republican Leadership to do what is right for our state. The Senate was created to ensure bipartisan compromise and although in recent decades this foundation has been chipped away at for political gain, I have always and will always think of how our Founding Fathers built this body and wanted it to operate when things get tough.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., placed 7th in last week’s bipartisan index.