Capitol Report: Joe Manchin eyes Senate exit | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez could form alliance on birth control

Joe Manchin is eyeing a possible exit from the Senate.

The Hill reports West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin is eyeing a possible exit from the Senate, and his decision could be a significant factor in which party controls the majority.

The report says that in moments of frustration, the centrist senator has gone so far as to tell colleagues he may leave before the end of this Congress, or after the 2020 elections. Manchin says he’s irritated with the lack of bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill, and told the Hill that supporters in West Virginia are pressing him to run for governor next year. He says he’s considering it. If Democrats lose West Virginia in 2020 or 2022, their quest for the majority becomes even tougher, as the Hill notes.

Another Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez alliance? Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, and New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear to agree that birth control should be available over the counter, as Axios writes. Experts, notes Axios, say this would be the Food and Drug Administration’s call. But the thornier issue is whether insurance would cover it if such a change is made. That is something that Congress can decide.

Cruz responded to an Ocasio-Cortez tweet advocating for the policy by writing, “I agree. Perhaps … we can team up here as well. A simple, clean bill making birth control available over the counter. Interested?” The two have also teamed up on the idea of a lobbying ban.

Warren leapfrogs Sanders in polls: Elizabeth Warren has leaped ahead of Bernie Sanders into second place in a pair of Democratic presidential primary polls, Politico writes.

Massachusetts Sen. Warren has overtaken Vermont Sen. Sanders nationally, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll, which puts her ahead of him 16% to 12%. Former Vice President Joe Biden still leads all contenders with 26% support. Warren also polls ahead of Sanders in Nevada, where Democrats will caucus next February after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, notes Politico. Biden leads the first Monmouth poll of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Nevada with 36% support, followed by Warren at 19% and Sanders at 13%.

Sanders vs. Dimon: Sanders, meanwhile, took aim at JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, -1.27%   Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, after he criticized socialism in a public appearance on Wednesday.

CBS News reported Dimon addressed a Business Roundtable event in Washington and denounced the idea of the government owning and controlling companies, saying they would be used for political reasons instead of economic reasons. The scenario over time would lead to “huge deterioration,” Dimon said. “I didn’t hear Jamie Dimon criticizing socialism when Wall Street begged for the largest federal bailout in American history,” Sanders shot back on Twitter.

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