Joe Manchin III

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Joe Manchin III
Joe Manchin.jpg
U.S. Senate, West Virginia
In office
November 15, 2010-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 5
PredecessorCarte Goodwin (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Governor of West Virginia
West Virginia Secretary of State
West Virginia State Senate
West Virginia House of Delegates
High schoolFarmington High School
Bachelor'sWest Virginia University
Date of birthAugust 24, 1947
Place of birthFarmington, WV
Net worth$7,650,050
Office website
Campaign website
Joseph Anthony (Joe) Manchin III (b. August 24, 1947, in Farmington, West Virginia) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of West Virginia. He succeeded the late Robert Byrd in a special election in 2010.

Manchin won re-election in 2012.[1] He defeated Sheirl Fletcher in the May 8, 2012 Democratic primary and faced Republican John Raese in the general election.[2]

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Manchin served as the governor of West Virginia and as the West Virginia Secretary of State.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Manchin is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, he may break with the Democratic Party line more than his fellow members.


Manchin entered West Virginia University on a football scholarship in 1965. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in business administration. He then became involved in several family-owned businesses before launching his political career.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Manchin's academic, professional and political career:[3]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Manchin serves on the following Senate committees[5]:


Manchin was on the following Senate committees[6]:


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Manchin's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Manchin does not support U.S. air strikes on Syria. He said, "Given the case that has been presented to me, I believe that a military strike against Syria at this time is the wrong course of action. I believe that we must exhaust all diplomatic options and have a comprehensive plan for international involvement before we act.”[9]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Manchin voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[10]


Government shutdown
See also:United States budget debate, 2013

Manchin expressed his displeasure with the shutdown saying, "It’s so asinine. It’s just absolutely totally ridiculous for anyone to be in this position, thinking they can inflict this much pain on the American public and benefit by it. If anyone’s benefiting, if anyone’s sending out campaign letters, then you better find out what their real reason for being here is. What’s their purpose? Why did we come here?" Manchin does support a debate on the debt ceiling, explaining, "I’m looking for a bigger plan. … I’m worried about my children and grandchildren, and it seems like here all we’re worried about is how we get to our next crisis. People may be talking about no negotiation. You’ve got to negotiate. That’s what we’re here to do."[11]

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[12] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Manchin voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[13]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "No" Manchin voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[14]


Manchin actively pursued overhauls to the Affordable Care Act. He pushed for delaying the penalties and extending the enrollment period for those seeking health insurance. He supported changing the definition of a part-time worker to under 40 hours, which would require more people to be eligible for health insurance benefits and would raise the cost of the ACA. Despite his push for change to the ACA, Manchin said, "I’m respectful. I want my president to do well. I have never been against something unless I had a better idea."[15]


Completion of fence along Mexico border

Voted "Yes" Manchin voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[16]

Social Issues

Gun Control

Manchin released a tv spot in June 2013 in response to the ads the NRA ran against him for working with gun control advocates on background checks. Manchin is a member of the NRA, but supports additional gun control legislation. In his new ad, Manchin holds a rifle and says he continues to fight for gun rights as well as safer communities.[17]

Response to Navy Yard shooting
After the deadly shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard on September 16, 2013, Manchin said he would not seek to reintroduce a bill calling for expanded background checks. Despite having partnered with Sen. Pat Toomey after the Newtown school shooting, Manchin's bill lost by five votes in the Senate in April 2013.[18]

Gay Marriage

Sen. Joe Manchin is a supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act, and is opposed to gay marriage. He is one of nine Democratic senators to oppose gay marriage. His spokesman, Katie Longo, enunciated his position, saying, "Senator Manchin believes that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman. His beliefs are guided by his faith, and he supports the Defense of Marriage Act."[19]

Manchin is one of only three Democratic Senators who have not voiced support for same-sex marriage, as of April 2013.[20][21]

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Manchin voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[22]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Manchin voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[23]


As West Virginia State Senator

Uncle's impeachment trial

As a state senator, Manchin heard the impeachment trial of his uncle, A. James Manchin, then the State Treasurer.

As Governor of West Virginia

Massey Energy

In July 2005, Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship sued then-Governor Manchin alleging that he violated his First Amendment Rights by threatening to retaliate with increased government scrutiny of his coal operations.

Sago Mine disaster

During the 2006 Sago Mine disaster of early January 2006, Manchin initially appeared to confirm reports that 12 miners had survived. These reports proved to be incorrect three hours later, when it was confirmed that only one miner survived the accident. In an early-morning press conference on January 4, Manchin acknowledged that an unintentional miscommunication had occurred with rescue teams within the mine, and stated that the incorrect information he received regarding the status of the miners was not received through official channels. Although he did not confirm the story, the press assumed he did, and no one is currently aware how the story was confirmed.

His handling of the Sago mine incident may have enhanced his popularity. In November 2006, SurveyUSA ranked him as one of the most popular governors in the country with a 74% approval rating. [24]

On February 1, 2006, Manchin ordered a stop to all coal production in the state of West Virginia pending safety checks after two more miners were killed that day in separate accidents.[25] A total of 16 West Virginia coal miners died from mining accidents in early 2006.

Iraq visit

On April 15, 2006, during an Easter visit to U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq, the governor caused a controversy by posing for photographers while signing two missiles at Balad Air Force Base. One of the messages read, "Sending you to hell, from Almost Heaven, West Virginia." He explained his intentions to the media, stating, "I just thought, 'Hey, these are people doing tremendous harm to our people.' I wanted to send them a little message."[26] After receiving several complaints, Manchin issued an apology.



Heading into the primary, Manchin was endorsed by the West Virginia AFL-CIO's Committee on Political Education.[27]



See also: United States Senate elections in West Virginia, 2012

Manchin ran for re-election in 2012. He defeated Sheirl Fletcher in the May 8, 2012 Democratic primary and defeated Republican John Raese in the November 6 general election.[1][2][28]

U.S. Senate, West Virginia General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Manchin III Incumbent 60.5% 391,669
     Republican John R. Raese 36.5% 236,620
     Mountain Bob Henry Baber 3% 19,232
Total Votes 647,521
Source: West Virginia Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. Senate-West Virginia Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Manchin III Incumbent 79.9% 163,891
Sheirl Fletcher 20.1% 41,118
Total Votes 205,009

Full history


Manchin announced his intention to challenge incumbent governor Bob Wise in the 2004 Democratic Primary in May 2003; however, Wise decided not to run for re-election after a scandal, becoming the first governor not to do so since running for re-election was permitted in 1972. Manchin won both the primary and general election by large margins, and his election marked the first time that two persons of the same political party have followed one another in the governor's office since 1964.

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Manchin is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Manchin raised a total of $13,862,110 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[32]

Joe Manchin III's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (West Virginia) Won $9,467,003
2004 U.S. Senate (West Virginia) Won $4,395,107
Grand Total Raised $13,862,110


Breakdown of the source of Manchin's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Manchin won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Manchin's campaign committee raised a total of $9,467,003 and spent $7,678,708.[33] This is less than the average $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[34]

Cost per vote

Manchin spent $19.61 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Manchin's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Manchin won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Manchin's campaign committee raised a total of $4,395,107 and spent $4,017,802.[35]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[36]

Manchin most often votes with:

Manchin least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Manchin is a "centrist Democratic follower," as of July 3, 2013.[37]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Manchin missed 9 of 631 roll call votes from November 2010 to April 2013. This amounts to 1.4%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[38]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Manchin paid his congressional staff a total of $1,790,208 in 2011. He ranks 2nd on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 11th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, West Virginia ranks 22nd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[39]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Manchin's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $3,614,101 and $11,686,000. That averages to $7,650,050, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth increased by 6.58% from 2010.[40]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Manchin's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $3,697,087 and $10,658,000. That averages to $7,177,543.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[41]

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Manchin ranked 53rd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[42]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Manchin ranked 53rd in the conservative rankings.[43]

Voting with party


Manchin voted with the Democratic Party 69.7% of the time, which ranked 52nd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[44]

Recent news

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Manchin and his wife, Gayle Conelly Manchin, have three children and seven grandchildren.[45]

External links



  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN "West Virginia Senate Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. 2.0 2.1 West Virginia Metro News "2012 Primary Results," May 8, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Manchin," Accessed July 3, 2013
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Joe Manchin III," Accessed October 14, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  6. Official Senate website "Committee and Subcommittee Assignments," Accessed October 14, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. Politico, "Joe Manchin, Brian Schatz ‘no’ on Syria resolution", accessed September 9, 2013
  10. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  11. Roll Call, "Vulnerable Democrats Laugh Off GOP’s Shutdown Campaign Attacks", accessed October 9, 2013
  12. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  13., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  14. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  15. New York Times, "Senator Manchin Takes On Democratic Party Leaders in Pursuit of a Middle Ground", accessed November 14, 2013
  16. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  17. ABC News "Sen. Joe Manchin Brandishes Rifle in New Anti-NRA Ad," Accessed June 20, 2013
  18. Politico, "Post-Navy Yard, no new guns push from Joe Manchin," accessed September 17, 2013
  19. "Gay Marriage Rights: The 10 Democratic Senators Who Still Say No" March 2013
  20. Metro Weekly, "Bill Nelson becomes 51st senator to support same-sex marriage," accessed April 5, 2013
  21. Talking Points Memo, "Senator Tim Johnson Endorses Gay Marriage," accessed April 9, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  23. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  24. APPROVAL RATINGS FOR ALL 50 GOVERNORS AS OF 11/20/06 SurveyUSA, Nov. 20, 2006
  25. Governor asks coal mines to stop production CNN, Feb. 01, 2006
  26. Governor Manchin Spends Easter In Iraq by Gabe Gutierrez, WOWK-TV, Apr. 16, 2006
  27. Herald-Dispatch "W.Va. candidates receive endorsements," March 8, 2012
  28. West Virginia Secretary of State "2012 Primary Results"
  29. Official Senate website, "Joe Manchin," accessed October 14, 2011
  30. The Hill, "Byrd's successor to take oath Tuesday," accessed October 14, 2011
  31. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  32. Open Secrets "Donor history for Joe Manchin" Accessed April 25, 2013
  33. Open Secrets "Joe Manchin 2012 Election Cycle," accessed August 16, 2013
  34. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  35. Open Secrets "Joe Manchin 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 26, 2011
  36. OpenCongress, "Joe Manchin," Accessed August 8, 2013
  37. Gov Track "Manchin," Accessed July 3, 2013
  38. GovTrack, "Manchin," Accessed April 11, 2013
  39. LegiStorm "Joe Manchin"
  40., "Manchin, (D-West Virginia), 2011"
  41., "Manchin, (D-West VA), 2010"
  42. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  43. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  44. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  45. Official Senate website "Biography," Accessed October 14, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Carte Goodwin
U.S. Senate - West Virginia
Succeeded by