We talked to a half-dozen senior Democratic staffers in both chambers Monday night and heard a variation of the same complaint from each of them: that Schumer’s ploy to isolate Sens. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) on Build Back Better and then voting rights has only set the party back in achieving its goals.
Manchin remains furious at how he’s been treated and has yet to return to the negotiating table on BBB. Sinema, meanwhile, was censured by her state party over the weekend, and there’s growing talk of her facing a primary in 2024 — in the type of state Democrats have to win to have any hope of controlling the Senate.
One aide pointed out that Schumer is majority leader only because both senators ran centrist campaigns and won. Another argued that it’s the job of any majority leader to protect every member of the caucus. All were particularly stunned by Schumer’s refusal last week to say that Manchin and Sinema should not be primaried. The comment, they said, effectively gave progressives permission to start talking about mounting Democratic campaigns to defeat them.