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
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
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.