Why is Chuck Schumer letting Joe Manchin lead Senate Democrats?
In the face of Donald Trump’s fascism, Senate Democrats’ job should be clear: stand up for core progressive values, defend the people most threatened by Trump, and block and resist Trump’s hateful agenda.
That’s why it is unacceptable for a conservative extremist like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin to hold a leadership position in the Senate Democratic Caucus. Manchin was the only “Democrat” who voted to confirm extreme racist Jeff Sessions as attorney general and foreclosure king Steve Mnuchin as treasury secretary. Just last week, in a face to face meeting with the White House, Manchin reportedly remained silent while Trump launched a racist tirade against Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In 2015, Manchin voted to defund Planned Parenthood. This is not how a leader of Democrats should act.
There is no justification for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to annoint someone as a member of Democratic leadership who consistently votes with Trump’s extreme right-wing priorities, fails to defend our progressive values, and routinely collaborates with Trump by enabling his racist and fascist agenda grounded in xenophobia and hate.1
Manchin should not be helping to lead the Democratic caucus. Can you add your voice to pressure Leader Schumer to act?
Tell Chuck Schumer: Drop Sen. Manchin from your leadership team
Schumer’s elevation of Manchin to a leadership role in his caucus legitimizes Manchin’s extreme right-wing positions and weakens Democrats’ ability to present a united front in opposition to Trump. To be clear, we respect West Virginia voters who have chosen Manchin to be their senator, and we absolutely believe that Sen. Manchin is free to make his own decisions about how to vote. But we reject the idea that Democratic Leader Schumer should have someone in a leadership position who:
- voted to confirm friend of Putin Rex Tillerson as secretary of state
- promised to vote to confirm climate-denying Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency
- attacked former Democratic Leader Harry Reid as "an absolute embarrassment to the Senate as an institution, our Democratic party, and the nation” for criticizing Trump’s election2
- has refused to reject a plan to sabotage Sen. Warren's strong Consumer Finance Protection Bureau by replacing its strong director with a gridlocked commission.3
- went on Fox News to call President Obama's climate policies a "war on America"4
- called Democratic support for repeal of the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment “crazy”5
- fought to gut mortgage protections proposed by the Obama administration that would prevent consumers being exploited by unethical Wall Street banks6
Senate Democrats are one of the main firewalls against our fascist president and an extremist Republican party committed to his racist, xenophobic and misogynistic agenda. Leader Schumer has an opportunity to lead his caucus in unprecedented resistance, but he will fail if he chooses the path of compromise. If he keeps Sen. Manchin on his leadership team, he will be sending a clear message that he is more interested in conciliation than opposition. We need to pressure him to do the right thing.
Tell Chuck Schumer: Drop Sen. Manchin from your leadership team.
Thanks for everything you’re doing to fight back against Trump.
- Ed O'Keefe and Mike DeBonis, "Schumer is next top Senate Democrat, adds Sanders to leadership ranks, The Washington Post, Nov. 16, 2016.
- Burgess Everett, "Manchin slams Reid on Trump comments: 'An absolute embarrassment'," Politico, Nov. 11, 2016.
- Ryan Rainey, "Bankers Meet With Democrats to Push for Bipartisan CFPB Commission," Morning Consult, Feb. 7, 2017.
- Jonathan Swan, "Anti-abortion Democrats fire back, The Hill, July 16, 2017.
- Erika Eichelberger, "Dems Defy Obama on Mortgage Protections, Mother Jones, Aug. 15, 2013.