Mar 1, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Manchin sits with Republicans, stands with Democrats

Sen. Joe Manchin is seen standing and clapping while seated between Republicans for the State of the Union address.

Sen. Joe Manchin watched the State of the Union address between Republican Sens. Mitt Romney and Roger Wicker. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, opted to sit on the Republicans' side of the House chamber during President Biden's first State of the Union address.

Why it matters: Manchin has been outspoken in recent days against what he has branded “hypocritical” policies on energy imports pursued by the Biden administration. N0netheless, he stood repeatedly with his fellow Democrats to applaud policies outlined by the president.

  • "While Americans decry what is happening in Ukraine, the United States continues to allow the import of more than half a million barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products from Russia during this time of war," Manchin said this week.
  • Manchin also reportedly did not stand with his fellow Democrats when the president spoke about an expanded child tax credit, a policy over which the senator has expressed serious qualms.

The details: Manchin was seen sitting between Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). He was the only Democrat seen sitting with Republicans.

  • “Sen. Manchin sat with his colleague Sen. Romney to remind the American people and the world that bipartisanship works and is alive and well in the U.S. Senate," Manchin spokesman Sam Runyon told Axios.
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