‘Defund, My Butt!’: Joe Manchin Says He Won’t Defund Police, Pack The Court Or Nuke Filibuster

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has made it clear that he will not adopt some of the more progressive agenda items that have been making headlines.

“Defund the police? Defund, my butt,” Manchin tweeted, sharing an interview he gave to the Washington Examiner. “I’m a proud West Virginia Democrat. We are the party of working men and women. We want to protect Americans’ jobs & healthcare. We do not have some crazy socialist agenda, and we do not believe in defunding the police.” (RELATED: ‘I Do Not Believe That Would Help Anybody’: Democratic Sen. Manchin Opposes Packing Supreme Court, Ending Senate Filibuster)

Manchin went on to say in the interview — as he has before — that he had no intention of joining with more progressive Democrats if they made a move to pack the Supreme Court or end the filibuster.

“Under no circumstances would I support packing the court or ending the filibuster if there is a 50-50 tie,” Manchin said, adding, “I really think that when you break the filibuster, you break the Senate, and I’m not going to be part of breaking the Senate, I can tell you that. The Senate is a pretty special place because the Founding Fathers intended it to be that way. But they also intended us to work in a bipartisan way and to where the minority always had input. You break the rules of the filibuster, the minority has nothing. There’s no purpose whatsoever. You’re no different than a glorified House.”

Manchin was also adamant about continuing to support law enforcement officers, saying that they should instead be funding better education for police officers. “Defund, my butt,” he said.

Manchin’s vote could be a prized commodity going into the 2021 legislative session — especially if Democrats are able to in the two runoff elections scheduled to take place in Georgia in January. Incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue will face Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively — and if both challengers win, the balance in the Senate will be 50/50.

Manchin, despite his differences with many in his own party, has no plans to switch parties any time soon. Referring to himself as “a proud West Virginia Democrat,” he added, “People just have the perception Democrats just want to give away everything. I don’t. I wasn’t raised that way. I’ll help you if you’re down and out. If you can’t take care of yourself, I’ll make sure we take care of you, but by golly, if you can contribute, get off your ass and start working.”