Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer got some bad news this week after it has been announced that a top Democrat is considering leaving the U.S. Senate
As noted by The Hill, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is hinting at early retirement from the Senate.
If Manchin retires, Schumer will lose a key vote in the Senate, giving Republicans the opportunity to add to their 53-47 majority in the upper chamber.
Here’s more from The Hill on Manchin confirming he’s considering leaving the Senate because there’s a lack of bipartisanship on anything.
In moments of frustration, the centrist senator has gone so far as to tell colleagues he may leave the upper chamber before the end of this Congress, or after the 2020 elections.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) keeps a close watch on Manchin, and the senators have a good working relationship. While Schumer recognizes that his West Virginia colleague can get exasperated by dysfunction in the Senate, he believes Manchin is content and engaged in his job.
But Manchin says he’s deeply irritated with the lack of bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill, where passing bills has largely become an afterthought in the 116th Congress.
Manchin noted supporters in West Virginia are pressing him to run for governor next year, and he’s considering it.
“I have people back home that want me to come back and run for governor. We’re looking at all the different plays. I want to make sure whatever time I have left in public service is productive,” he told The Hill.
When asked by reporters recently if he’s happy with how productive he is in the Senate, Manchin replied, “Not at all.”
“I haven’t been happy since I’ve been here. I’ve always thought there was more we can do. It’s the greatest body in the world, so much good could be done,” he said.
Several Democratic lawmakers, who requested anonymity, said they have heard Manchin venting his frustrations several times.
One Democratic senator recalled Manchin threatening to retire before the end of the 116th Congress.
“He said, ‘I’m out of here.’ He was all pissed off and said, ‘I’m going to be out of here,’” the lawmaker said.
“I think he’s been fed up for a long time,” said a senator who has heard Manchin venting his frustrations. “He said, ‘I have so many people talking to me about whether I should or I shouldn’t [run for governor].’ ”
“One of the things you get as a lawmaker is you get lots of free advice from lots of people. He expressed frustration, and it’s the same that a lot of people share,” said the lawmaker, who spoke on background.
A third Senate colleague who has spoken to Manchin about his future in the Senate said, “All he says is, ‘I’ll be here until 2020.’”
Speaking to The Hill, one Democratic strategist said if Manchin retires, it is more than likely that Republicans will flip the Senate seat in West Virginia from blue to red.