A prominent progressive political group is preemptively blaming Sen. Joe Manchin for any losses that Democrats may endure this midterm cycle.
Even before polls closed on Tuesday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) lashed out at the West Virginia Democrat for having delayed President Biden's agenda last year.
"Candidates up and down the ballot — from progressive to more conservative — were hurt by Joe Manchin’s stalling of the Democratic economic agenda for an entire year," said Adam Green, the PCCC's co-founder. "Manchin owes all Democrats and the country an apology."
The comments come as polling ahead of Election Day showed Republicans surging and Democrats struggling in the shadow of Biden's low job approval numbers. They also underscore the pivotal role that Manchin has played on Capitol Hill over the past two years in a 50-50 Senate.
Shortly after Biden took office, Democrats began working on a massive spending bill, named Build Back Better. The legislation proposed an ambitious overhaul of the nation's economy and climate energy infrastructure.
Given widespread GOP opposition the legislation only's path to passage was via a party-line process known as budget reconciliation. That iteration of the bill died within the 50-50 Senate amid Manchin's fears it would exacerbate 40-year high inflation.
The West Virginia Democrat reversed course this year after getting sufficient concessions from Schumer and whittling the bill down from its initial $3.5 trillion price tag to roughly $700 billion.
Green, whose group has raised nearly $2 million for progressive candidates, said that Manchin's tactics had prevented vulnerable Democrats from having accomplishments to run until late in the cycle.
"As gas prices were tangibly felt by voters, Manchin's obstruction denied voters the opportunity to have money in their pockets, child care for their families, lower-price prescriptions, and other positive impacts in time for the 2022 election," said Green. "These benefits would have more than offset the crunch on many family budgets from rising gas and grocery prices."