Showing posts with label Joe Manchin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Manchin. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2023

Joe Manchin grows $11 million war chest as he mulls 2024 election plans

Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) political future is unclear. With a campaign committee sporting $11.3 million on hand, the 76-year-old Democrat is weighing his options, ranging from retirement to an independent presidential run. 

While he has not announced whether he will defend his Senate seat in 2024, Manchin continued to raise more money than his Republican challengers last quarter, according to an OpenSecrets analysis of campaign finance reports, which cover fundraising from July to September.

The Cook Political Report ranks the race a toss-up, and the Democratic Party stands to lose its narrow Senate majority if Democrats don’t retain seats in key battleground states, including West Virginia. 

Manchin hasn’t announced a reelection campaign, but West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.V.) are vying for his seat in a heated, if lopsided, primary. Justice raised $613,000 last quarter, nearly double the amount Mooney raised over the same period, an OpenSecrets analysis of third-quarter Federal Election Commission filings found.

poll from the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, which has a political action committee that contributes to candidates, including Manchin during his 2008 gubernatorial run, showed Justice beating Mooney by 37 points in the Republican Primary.

Polls show Justice also winning the general election. An Emerson College poll released earlier this month had Justice leading Manchin by 13 points in a head-to-head matchup, with a margin of error of 4.2 points. The same poll predicted Manchin would win by 6 points against Mooney.

Former President Donald Trump, who won West Virginia by 39 points in 2020, endorsed Justice last week. 

Meanwhile, Mooney was the only candidate in the race to garner support from super PACs last quarter.

PACs affiliated with the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth reported spending over $377,000 supporting Mooney and opposing Justice in the third quarter and a total of $1.26 million since early 2022. 

The Senate Conservatives Fund, a PAC that supports Republicans running for Senate, spent an additional $122,000 backing Mooney between July 5 and Oct. 17.

Even though Mooney spent most of his third-quarter earnings, he started the quarter with more cash on hand than Justice and maintained a cash advantage. Mooney ended September with $1.6 million, compared to Justice’s $1.2 million.

Mooney sourced 16.5% of his campaign funds, or $51,800, from donors who gave $200 or less during the third quarter. Justice raised $51,400 — or 8.4% of his contributions — from small donors. 

Small donors made up just a quarter of one percent of Manchin’s direct fundraising.

Manchin led the pack in direct PAC support, receiving $104,000 from 28 committees. Despite his reputation for breaking the party line, Manchin’s campaign still received some money from fellow Democrats. 

Leadership PACs affiliated with Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn) gave a total of $15,000 to Manchin. He received another $10,000 from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-Ariz.) leadership PAC, Getting Stuff Done. Sinema left the Democratic Party last December. 

Mooney received $23,900 from Republican leadership PACs, including one affiliated with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Jordan’s leadership PAC gave Mooney $2,900 weeks before Mooney voted three times to support Jordan’s House speaker bid. In total, PACs gave Mooney $32,650.

Justice received $17,500 from PACs, with $16,000 coming from party members’ leadership PACs. While Justice raised less PAC money than Mooney, senior Republicans, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, have reportedly signaled their support for him. 

Mooney and Justice each spent nearly twice as much as Manchin during the most recent quarter. Mooney’s campaign spent $272,000 from July to September, with $94,000 going toward digital and direct marketing.  Justice spent $254,000, $64,000 of which went toward digital advertising and consulting. 

Manchin spent $135,000 during the third quarter and did not report spending any money on advertising. 

No prominent Democrats have announced plans to primary Manchin. The last time Manchin lost a race was 1996, in his first bid for governor. He has since been elected three times to the U.S. Senate, two times as governor and once as West Virginia’s Secretary of State.

This article originally appeared in Open on October 26th, 2023.  

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

US Child Poverty Rate More Than Doubled in 2022 Thanks to Manchin and GOP

"Joe Manchin's legacy includes artificially manufacturing child poverty for no reason other than his callous disregard for human beings," said the Debt Collective following the release of new Census data.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and congressional Republicans faced fresh backlash on Tuesday after the U.S. Census Bureau released new data showing that the nation's child poverty rate more than doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year, thanks in large part to the expiration of the boosted Child Tax Credit.

The expanded CTC, an American Rescue Plan (ARP) policy that sent eligible families up to $300 per month for each child and eliminated the original CTC's regressive phase-in, helped push the U.S. child poverty rate to a record low of 5.2% in 2021.

But the program expired at the end of that year after Manchin (D-W.Va.), who supported the ARP, opposed an extension, baselessly claiming that some parents would use the money on drugs instead of their children. (Survey data showed that most families, including those in West Virginia, used the money to buy food and help with rent, along with other essentials.)

"Joe Manchin's legacy includes artificially manufacturing child poverty for no reason other than his callous disregard for human beings," the Debt Collective wrote on social media.

Congressional Republicans, who unanimously opposed the ARP, also rejected calls to support an extension of the boosted CTC, part of a broader pandemic-era safety net that is now collapsing.

The result of the program's expiration, as predicted, was a devastating surge in child poverty. According to the new Census Bureau data, the child poverty rate rose to 12.4% in 2022—the largest single-year increase on record.

The overall U.S. poverty rate also increased, rising from 7.8% in 2021 to 12.4% last year. More than 37 million people in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2022, the Census Bureau said.

"Today's stunning rise in poverty is the direct result of policy choices—including Congress' decision to allow the successful Child Tax Credit expansion to expire," said Sharon Parrott, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Policymakers should expand the Child Tax Credit this year and reverse this troubling trend."

If Congress had kept the expanded CTC in place last year, Parrott noted, 3 million additional kids would have been kept out of poverty, "preventing more than half of the 5.2 million increase in the number of children in poverty last year."

"The child poverty rate would have been about 8.4% rather than 12.4%," Parrott said.

Elise Gould and Ismael Cid-Martinez of the Economic Policy Institute echoed Parrott's assessment, saying in a statement that "if policymakers were willing to maintain the pandemic-era CTC expansions, a much smaller share of children would be living in poverty."

"More ambitious—but economically sustainable—expansions of our generally stingy welfare state could essentially eliminate poverty completely," they added. "We know this vision isn't politically realistic in the short run, but the policy lessons of 2020 and 2021 should not be lost with today's report."

In his response to the new data, President Joe Biden placed the blame for the child poverty increase entirely on Republican lawmakers, not mentioning that Manchin's opposition was ultimately decisive in the evenly divided Senate in 2021.

"Today's Census report shows the dire consequences of congressional Republicans' refusal to extend the enhanced Child Tax Credit, even as they advance costly corporate tax cuts," Biden said. "We cut child poverty by nearly half to record lows for all children in this nation largely by expanding the Child Tax Credit. Last year, Congressional Republicans insisted on raising taxes on families with children. The rise reported today in child poverty is no accident—it is the result of a deliberate policy choice congressional Republicans made to block help for families with children while advancing massive tax cuts for the wealthiest and largest corporations."

Shortly after the Census Bureau published its data, Semafor reporter Joseph Zeballos-Roig asked Manchin whether he's had second thoughts about opposing an extension of the CTC boost now that its expiration has produced a record increase in child poverty.

"It's deeper than that, we all have to do our part," Manchin replied. "The federal government can't run everything."

The West Virginia senator said he had yet to see the new poverty figures.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) said in a statement that the new Census data "is just completely heartbreaking and deeply disappointing."

"It's also a specific choice," Fetterman added. "A spike in child poverty like this didn't need to happen. Congress had the chance to extend these programs that would keep our children fed and boost working families out of poverty. But it didn't. It's shameful. In the richest country in the world, no child should have to go through this. And now it's on us to fix this problem that shouldn't have been created in the first place."

This story has been updated to include a statement from Sen. John Fetterman.

This article originally appeared at on September 12th, 2023.  

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