A Bloomberg reports that sources claim some White House and GOP officials are considering having West Virginia Dem. Senator Joe Manchin replace Rick Perry as head of the Energy Department.
If Perry agrees, and Manchin is approved by the Senate, then the Republican governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, could appoint a Republican senator to replace Manchin, allowing a better chance for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The so called “skinny repeal” failed in July, but a future Obamacare repeal could work if Manchin replaces Perry.
The ultimate goal of such a Cabinet shift would be to jump-start Trump’s agenda in Congress, particularly repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Yet to execute the idea and pass an Obamacare repeal, Republicans and the administration would have to pull off a highly choreographed series of events. Perry would have to agree to take another job, the Senate would have to confirm Manchin as Energy Secretary, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would then have to bring a repeal bill back up without losing any of the 49 Republican senators who voted for the so-called skinny repeal.
Some of those senators, however, like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said they were only voting for the bill to bring it to negotiations with the House. Other Republicans, like Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, are working on a bipartisan fix.
Moreover, Manchin would face intense pressure from fellow Democrats not to leave the Senate and bear some personal responsibility for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
How Sen. Manchin would react to such a proposal is unclear.
Business Insider reports:
Manchin, who was briefly considered for Secretary of Energy, is up for reelection in 2018 in a state that had voted for Trump in the 2016 US presidential election by a wide margin.
Manchin unloaded in an unrelated Sunday interview with The Charleston Gazette when he was asked whether partisan bullying could get him to play ball in Congress.
“I don’t give a s—, you understand? I just don’t give a s—,” Manchin said on Sunday to The Charleston Gazette-Mail, in response to being asked about the recent series of political attacks. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s— that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
[…] “Senator Manchin has not had any recent conversations with the Administration about the Secretary of Energy position,” said Jonathan Kott, communications director for Manchin.
Would Manchin leave the senate if offered a position replacing Perry?
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