West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that lawmakers can no longer ignore worsening inflation, which consumer data showed hit a 30-year high.

Manchin, The Rare Centrist Among Democrats, Denied A Report That He Was Switching Parties

Sen. Joe Manchin is still a Democrat – for the time being.

The moderate West Virginia lawmaker dismissed reports he was considering leaving the increasingly radical Democratic Party after a left-wing magazine reported Manchin had told confidantes he was ready to bolt.

That report surfaced one day after The Free Press noted Manchin has been harassed at his home by liberal protesters and faced increasing criticism from within his own party about his refusal to rubberstamp President Joe Biden’s big-government agenda. For example, one Illinois Democrat on Capitol Hill insulted Manchin’s home state by calling it “irrelevant” to the national economy.

Manchin “has told associates that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill do not agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion,” reported the radical publication Mother Jones, which cited “people who have heard Manchin discuss this.”

The senator reportedly told these people he would declare himself an “American Independent.”

He also supposedly devised a “two-step plan” to flee the Democrats. First, he would notify Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he was stepping down as a member of the party leadership. If that flare failed to attract sufficient attention, Manchin would change his voter registration to independent, Mother Jones noted.

The question is whether he would continue to caucus with Democrats or huddle with the Republicans, which would give the GOP the majority again.

Manchin has an incentive for the latter. In 2020, former President Donald Trump took 69 percent of the vote in West Virginia and won all 55 counties in the state.

Manchin on Wednesday denied the Mother Jones report.

Manchin called the story “bulls–t,” and told reporters that he has “no control over rumors,” according to Reuters.

Still, even if just a rumor, the Mother Jones piece may be a shot across the Democrats’ bow that Manchin understands his constituents better than they do.

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