- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 13, 2021

Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, may be the single most important vote in the Congress, but as far as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is concerned, he’s also out of touch.

The New York Democrat did little for the cause of party unity Sunday by taking a few more swings at Mr. Manchin, dismissing his “old way of politics” and “romanticism about bipartisanship.”

“The things that he cites, like I think this romanticism about bipartisanship, is about an era of Republicans that simply do not exist anymore,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez referred to his June 6 op-ed against H.R. 1, the sweeping Democratic elections bill that passed with House in March with no Republican votes, which he referred to as “partisan voting legislation” that threatens to “destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy.”

Last week, she implied he was influenced by political donations, saying that “H.R. 1 stands up against lobbyists and dark money, and I would reckon to think that this is probably just as much a part of Joe Manchin’s calculus as anything else, because when it comes to this bipartisan argument, I gotta tell you, I don’t buy it.”

Asked to explain, she said that “I do believe that that old way of politics has absolutely an influence in Joe Manchin’s thinking and the way he navigates the body.”

Citing the influence of “dark money” and “the Koch brothers,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez added: “I think that the older-school way of accepting the role of lobbyists in Washington absolutely has a role in Joe Manchin’s thinking.”

AOC says in addition to voting rights, HR-1 stands up against lobbyists and dark money in politics, adding that she thinks “the older school way of accepting the role of lobbyists in Washington absolutely has a role in Joe Manchin‘s thinking” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/G4Y9wvmHKE

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) June 13, 2021

Mr. Manchin infuriated the progressive left by announcing that he would oppose H.R. 1, called the For the People Act, which all but kills its chances of passage, given that no House or Senate Republican supports it.

“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” Mr. Manchin said in his article. “Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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