Manchin’s PAC Saw Spike in Corporate Donations As He Fought Biden’s Bill


  • Sen. Joe Manchin’s PAC received 36 corporate donations in October and November, per FEC filings.
  • In the same time frame, he’s been fighting President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better bill.
  • Several of these donations came from PACs associated with fossil fuel industries.

Sen. Joe Manchin’s political action committee received a spike in corporate contributions — which included donations from committees related to fossil fuel industries — in the months leading up to his Sunday announcement that he would oppose President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social spending bill, according to federal election commission filings.

Manchin’s leadership PAC, Country Roads, drew in 17 corporate contributions in October and 19 donations in November — its highest monthly counts received in the last half-year, CNBC’s Brian Schwartz and Jacob Pramuk first reported.

The donations were each worth between $2,500 to $5,000 (the maximum legal contribution that can be made to a PAC). They came from companies including Wells Fargo, Lockheed Martin, American Express, Verizon, and Goldman Sachs. 

Country Roads also received donations from PACs connected with fossil fuel industries, including natural gas company CNX Resources, gas and oil production company Diversified Energy, and COALPAC, a committee of the National Coalmining Association.

Country Roads raised more than $265,000 in November and December.

More than half of that — around $160,000 — was money given by individuals. One such contributor who donated $2,500 was Jonathan Kott, identified by CNBC as an ex-communications adviser for Manchin and a lobbyist for ExxonMobil.

Filings also show that in November, Country Roads spent nearly $40,000 on catering and $5,300 on travel, event activities, and food and beverages at The Greenbrier, a luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

Manchin, a Democrat representing West Virginia, has for months fought against Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better bill, which would vastly expand America’s safety net and introduce measures to combat the climate emergency. 

The bill was passed in the House but still needs support from all 50 Senate Democrats to beat unanimous GOP opposition — support that Manchin and fellow Democrat moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema have withheld so far.

Manchin has regularly raised concerns about the bill’s impact on the US economy, and the White House spent months attempting to strike a deal with him. According to a statement released on Sunday by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden and key officials understood several weeks ago that Manchin had agreed to back the bill and would negotiate its terms “in good faith.”

But on Sunday, Manchin said on Fox News that he would oppose the plan, effectively killing the bill. The announcement prompted fury from Biden’s administration, which called it a “sudden and inexplicable reversal” of the senator’s position.

“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation, I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible, I can’t get there,” said Manchin on Sunday.

Sen. Joe Manchin’s press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on this story.

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