Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., will be headed to a billionaire-backed gathering in Los Angeles on April 30.
The private event, per an email shared with The Intercept, will be at the home of billionaire Howard Marks, co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, an investment fund that specializes in distressed debt. The invitation also lists “MILKEN,” likely billionaire Michael Milken, whose eponymous institute is hosting its annual global conference in LA the following day.
The event, which is hosted by No Labels, comes as Manchin is mulling another round of reconciliation talks to pass a major economic and climate bill — the last chance to do so before the 2022 midterms.
Manchin is one of the most prominent members of No Labels, a political action committee largely funded by finance industry leaders that rallied moderate members of both parties to oppose President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package of reforms, including a universal preschool program, the extension of the child tax credit, and the establishment of a hearing aid benefit for Medicare beneficiaries.
Last year, Manchin participated in a Zoom meeting with No Labels leaders, including several of the wealthiest Wall Street executives in the country such as Marks, to privately share his insight into filibuster reform, voting rights legislation, and his thinking on other Biden administration policies.
Marks, who owns two homes in the Los Angeles area, a $26 million mansion in the Holmby Hills area and an estate in Beverly Hills, is a major donor to moderate lawmakers. This cycle, he donated the maximum to No Labels leaders Reps. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, two of the most conservative House Democrats facing serious primary challenges.
Milken — who became famous trading junk bonds, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, and was later pardoned by former President Donald Trump — has not made donations to candidates this cycle.
No Labels previously raised hundreds of thousands for a special fund to bolster the efforts of a group of conservative House Democrats opposed to a stepped-up version of the Build Back Better package. The financial support was designed to provide a buffer for the lawmakers to oppose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and progressive members who wanted greater spending on social welfare programs, efforts that have now stalled in the Senate following opposition from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
This week, Manchin entered into last-minute discussions to revive the reconciliation path to pass a special energy and climate bill. Manchin has expressed openness to raising the corporate tax rate to 25 percent in order to pay for an array of tax subsidies and programs to boost an “all-of-the-above” energy plan that features investments in electric vehicles, carbon capture technology, and natural gas.
Manchin’s office and No Labels did not respond to a request for comment.