Following Senate Republicans’ weak-kneed capitulation over the debt ceiling on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, decided to take a victory lap.
Even by Schumer’s standards’ the partisan diatribe was particularly vicious and vindictive.
But the person who appeared to be most affected by it was a fellow Democrat—West Virginia’s centrist Sen. Joe Manchin—whose reaction went viral, Townhall reported.
Schumer slammed Republicans during his speech, praising Democrats for their willingness to work without compromise.
“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work,” Schumer said.
Although 11 Republicans voted to end debate and advance the measure to the floor, none ultimately voted in support of raising the debt ceiling, putting the onus on red-state Democrats like Manchin, who may be thrown to the wolves in his 2024 re-election bid.
“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans insisted they wanted a solution to the debt ceiling—but said Democrats must raise it alone by going through a drawn out, convoluted, and risky reconciliation process,” Schumer said, while boasting of having done just that.
In the viral video of his reaction, Manchin is obviously distressed, and can be seen putting his face in his hands with dismay.
Later in the video, he simply stands up and walks away.
After the speech, Manchin expressed his irritation with Schumer, suggesting that compromise and deliberation are needed.
Manchin tells us he didn’t like Schumer’s speech after the vote to break a filibuster on the debt ceiling. “I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” he said, arguing that “we need to de-weaponize” and stop “playing politics … That was not a way to take (frustration) out” pic.twitter.com/TsGDsMNAqK
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“I didn’t think it was appropriate at this time,” Manchin said.
“I just think that basically what we’ve got to do is find a pathway forward, to make sure that we de-weaponize,” he continued. “We have to de-weaponize. You can’t be playing politics. None of us can—on both sides.”
Manchin then lamented the lack of civility in politics today.
“I’m just saying … civility is gone, OK? And I’m not going to be part of getting rid of that but I’m gonna try to bring it back,” he added.
Tensions have been high in Congress in recent weeks as the Democrats try to ram through a massive $3.5 trillion dollar spending bill, which would be the crown jewel of President Joe Biden‘s radical “Build Back Better” agenda.
Another well-known moderate—Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota—also took issue with Schumer’s speech, contending that he simply blamed Republicans and praised Democrats.
“I thought it was totally out of line,” Thune said.
“I just thought it was an incredibly partisan speech after we had just helped him solve a problem,” he added. “I let him have it.”