Biden beware: Manchin and Sinema align with Republicans in debt negotiations


Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema saved the filibuster and cut down President Joe Biden’s agenda, delighting Republicans. Now they’re breaking with Democrats on the debt limit, and Republicans hope they keep it coming.

The two centrists, who spent Biden’s first two years in office at odds with the left, are glaring outliers on the debt drama in the party’s 51-member Senate caucus. While their Democratic colleagues insist on no negotiations until the debt ceiling is lifted, Manchin and Sinema are not only pushing for a bipartisan deal but positioning themselves as potential players in any future Senate talks on a way out of the crisis.

The Arizona independent and West Virginia Democrat have communicated that message in their own ways. Manchin has urged Biden to work directly with Speaker Kevin McCarthy and regularly puts out statements pushing for bipartisan talks that show up in GOP press releases. Sinema has quietly dined with McCarthy and signaled her hopes for a negotiated solution to GOP senators.