GOP officials are floating the idea of having Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia head the Department of Energy, replacing Sec. Rick Perry, according to four sources cited in a Bloomberg report.
In a game of political chess, White House officials were reportedly looking to jumpstart Trump’s deadlocked agenda, most notably seen in the failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in July.
In theory, if Manchin were to head the Energy Department, the Republican governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, would be able to appoint a Republican senator, bringing the Senate closer to fulfilling President Donald Trump’s agenda.
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.”
The idea to get Manchin into the Energy Department, which is still in its “early stages of consideration,” has yet to gain support by the Trump administration, according to Bloomberg.
“Senator Manchin has not had any recent conversations with the Administration about the Secretary of Energy position,” said Jonathan Kott, communications director for Manchin.