Manchin denies he's leaving Democratic Party as negotiations heat up on Biden spending bill

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Sen. Joe Manchin III, a key swing vote for President Biden’s legislative agenda, denied published speculation on Wednesday that he was considering bolting the Democratic Party.

Mr. Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat, said reports that he is considering leaving his party and becoming an independent were inaccurate.  

“I have no control over the rumors,” said Mr. Manchin. “We’re friends … it’s bullsh—t.”

Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, was the first to publish the rumors in an unsourced article.

The magazine claimed that Mr. Manchin had “told associates that he is considering leaving the” party unless Mr. Biden agreed to cut down the $3.5 trillion social welfare bill that is being debated by Democrats.

He has angered progressives by insisting on lowering the cost of the overall bill and eliminating liberal priorities such as climate-change initiatives.

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