Oct 6: Senator Joe Manchin with Warren Olney
About This Event
Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia)
Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) has called himself a “moderate conservative Democrat” and is often cited as the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. West Virginia has become one of the most heavily Republican states in the country, but Manchin has continued to see tremendous electoral success. He won the 2004 gubernatorial election by a large margin and was reelected by an even larger margin in 2008; in both years, Republican presidential candidates won West Virginia. Manchin won the 2010 special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by incumbent Democrat Robert Byrd’s death with 54% of the vote. He was elected to a full term in 2012 with 61% of the vote and reelected in 2018 with just under 50% of the vote, as the state had become increasingly partisan. He became the state’s senior U.S. Senator when Jay Rockefeller retired in 2015.
As a member of Congress, Manchin is known for his support of bipartisanship, voting or working with Republicans on issues such as abortion and gun ownership. He opposed the energy policies of President Barack Obama, voted against cloture for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (he did not vote on the bill itself), voted to remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood in 2015, supported President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and voted to confirm most of his cabinet and judicial appointees, including Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But Manchin has also repeatedly voted against attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), voted to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood in 2017, and voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In addition, he voted to convict President Trump in both of his impeachment trials. Manchin is a prominent opponent of policy proposals from the progressive wing of his party, including Medicare For All, abolishing the filibuster, increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court, increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, and attempts to defund the police. Manchin repeatedly called for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and having opposed most military interventions in Syria.
As of 2021, Manchin is the only Democrat holding statewide office in West Virginia, as well as the only Democrat in West Virginia’s congressional delegation. After the 2020 elections, he became a swing vote in a 50-50 Democratic-controlled Senate. The Democratic Party’s small majority in the 117th Congress has made Manchin one of its most influential members.
From Senator Manchin’s website:
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was sworn into the United States Senate on November 15, 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd. For Senator Manchin, serving as West Virginia’s Senator is truly an honor and a privilege.
Born and raised in the small coal mining town of Farmington, W.Va., Sen. Manchin grew up learning the values that all West Virginians share — family, common sense, fairness and hard work. As a small businessman, he learned firsthand from his grandfather, Papa Joe, who was an Italian immigrant and the town grocer, the importance of serving the public. As a young man, his beloved grandmother, Mama Kay, inspired Senator Manchin’s belief in public service through her unflagging compassion and desire to help those less fortunate.
From his days as a state legislator to his six years as Governor to his current role, Senator Manchin has always been committed to his philosophy of “retail government” — in other words, connecting with all of his constituents and making service to them his top priority.
As a Senator, Joe Manchin is committed to bringing this same spirit of bipartisanship to Washington. As he has done throughout his entire life, he remains committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find commonsense solutions to the problems our country faces and is working hard to usher in a new bipartisan spirit in the Senate and Congress.
Legislatively, job creation is Senator Manchin’s top priority and he believes that government should act as a partner, not an adversary, in helping to create the environment that produces good American jobs. Senator Manchin also firmly believes that our nation can and must do what he did in West Virginia – put our fiscal house in order. He believes we must find commonsense ways to cut spending while keeping our promises to our seniors and veterans by protecting Social Security and Medicare.
Senator Manchin is strongly committed to developing a balanced national energy plan that utilizes all of our resources and recognizes that fossil fuels will be a vital part of our energy mix for decades to come. He believes that a balanced, commonsense approach that considers the needs of our environment and the demands of our economy, can and must be developed if we are to achieve energy independence within this generation.
Senator Manchin currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and also serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs – four critical committees that tackle the important work of addressing our nation’s energy needs, overseeing discretionary spending, standing up for our Veterans, and defending our nation.
Senator Manchin is an avid pilot, outdoorsman, hunter, angler and motorcyclist. He has been married for more than four decades to the former Gayle Conelly of Beckley. They have three children: Heather, Joseph IV and Brooke, and are the proud grandparents of Joseph V, Sophie, Kelsey, Madeline, Chloe, Jack, Carly, Vivian, Beaux and Knox.