Jamaal Bowman: 'Joe Manchin Has Become The New Mitch McConnell'

New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman delivers a speech.
Gettyimages | Stephanie Keith
US Politics

In an interview that was broadcast Monday morning, New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman slammed a fellow Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Though a Democrat, Manchin has opposed much of President Joe Biden's agenda, siding with the Republican Party on many key issues.

Most recently, Manchin vowed to block a sweeping voting rights bill pushed by his own party and expressed opposition to getting rid of the Senate filibuster.

According to Bowman, Manchin is doing to Biden what Republican Mitch McConnell did to former President Barack Obama.

Manchin, McConnell 

"Joe Manchin has become the new Mitch McConnell," Bowman told CNN's John Berman on New Day.

"Mitch McConnell during Obama's presidency said he would do everything in his power to stop Obama," the congressman continued.

"He's also repeated that now during the Biden presidency by saying he would do everything in his power to stop President Biden, and now Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy and to stop our work for the people, the work that the people sent us here to do."

Bipartisanship 

Manchin, a self-described moderate Democrat, has justified his decisions by urging Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress to work together.

According to Bowman, what Manchin is doing has nothing to do with bipartisanship.

In fact, the West Virginia Democrat is helping the GOP obstruct Biden's agenda, Bowman argued.

"Manchin is not pushing us closer to bipartisanship. He is doing the work of the Republican Party by being an obstructionist, just like they've been since the beginning of Biden's presidency," he said. 

Manchin

Manchin defended his decision to vote against Democrats' voting rights bill in a Sunday op-ed penned for the the Charleston Gazette.

In the column, the senator argued that "partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy," saying that "the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized."

Manchin has also warned Democrats against moving to abolish the filibuster, claiming that doing so would set a dangerous precedent and enable Republicans to ram their bills into law once they are back in power. 

Is Manchin Really To Blame?

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin speaks at a hearing.
Gettyimages | Pool

Some D.C. observers are skeptical of Bowman and other Democrats' claims that Manchin is to blame for Biden's failures.

Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Glenn Greenwald argued in a Twitter thread Monday that Democrats would find a different "rotating villain" if Manchin was powerless.

"If Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema weren't blocking all the lovely and wonderful things the Democratic Party pretends it wants to do, they would just have other Senators doing it instead," Greenwald wrote.

"Anyone who doesn't know this understands nothing about how that party functions," he added.