On Sunday, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin appeared to be changing his position on whether or not to give Puerto Rico and Washington DC statehood.
Manchin has hitherto been viewed as an opponent of such a move.
Some are considering turning the two bodies into states as a Democratic takeover that would give their party four additional US Senators.
Here’s what Sen Manchin previously said about DC and Puerto Rico statehood. The Sen is not one who could be forced to change his vote. Listen carefully to what he says as he changes @TPInsidr @tomborelli @jjauthor https://t.co/DugJN1TiZG
– Andrew Luck (@ AndrewLuck23) January 11, 2021
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Manchin now open to Puerto Rico and DC statehood?
Manchin had opposed statehood in the past but appeared to change their minds during a CNN interview.
When host Jake Tapper asked the Senator if he supported statehood for Washington DC, Manchin replied, “I don’t know enough about it yet. I want to see the pros and cons. So I’m waiting to see all the facts. I am open for everything. “
In Puerto Rico, Manchin Tapper responded by saying, “The same. I need more facts on this. “
Senator Joe Manchin explains the stance against the proposal for checks worth US $ 2,000, says he is against the termination of the filibuster, he does not know enough to take a stance on statehood for DC or Puerto Rico. pic.twitter.com/AwJflQkDXD
– The Hill (@thehill) January 11, 2021
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When Manchin was pushed on these issues in November after the general election – but well before the January 5 runoff elections in Georgia that helped deliver the Senate to the Democrats – he was more forceful, saying that neither DC nor Puerto Rico should acquire statehood.
At the beginning of November, Manchin signaled that he was against statehood
On November 10th, Manchin told CNN about the possible granting of statehood in Washington, DC, “I don’t see DC statehood as a necessity for DC statehood with the kind of services we are currently receiving in DC.”
Manchin continued: “We have representation. They say no voice, you know, without representation. They don’t have a voice, but they do. I should hear more about it, but right now I’m not convinced this is the way to go. “
When asked about a possible Puerto Rican statehood, the Senator said, “I am still not convinced that this is the right way to go. And I would say that I absolutely agree to sit down and listen to the debate. “
“I don’t think this is the direction we should be going now,” he added.
Interesting to see that Manchin does not rule out statehood of DC or Puerto Rico in the @jaketapper interview. “I want to see the pros and cons.”
– Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) January 10, 2021
With a 50:50 US Senate and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker, the moderate Democrat Manchin is likely to play an increased role in close votes.
That quickly became clear when Manchin signaled its opposition to another round of $ 2,000 checks for COVID relief.
When Republican activists warned voters that a democratically controlled Senate could lead not only to problematic measures such as statehood in DC and Puerto Rico but also to trial, Manchin was quick to reassure voters that he was not.
Manchin told Fox News ahead of the Georgia special election in early January, “I make a commitment to you tonight and to all of your viewers and all other viewers. I want to dispel those fears, I want to rest those fears for you now because if they talk about whether it is about packing the dishes or finishing the filibuster I will not be voting for it. “
Manchin went further, trying to reassure voters that he disagreed with the agenda of the far left.
“I’m not going to vote to pack the dishes,” said Manchin. “I think – and I won’t vote to end the filibuster.”
Joe Manchin when asked if he’s interested in making DC or Puerto Rico a state. pic.twitter.com/LzvYU8WNJv
– Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) January 6, 2021
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Manchin tried to reassure voters he did not support far left
Speaking to the then presenter of Fox News, Bret Baier, Manchin said: “Bret, this system, the Senate, this body so unique in the world that it was made to work together in a non-partisan way.”
“And once you start breaking down those barriers, you lose all reason why we are the institution we are, the most advisory body,” added Manchin.
“So I want to allay those fears that this won’t happen because I won’t be the 50th Democrat to vote to end this filibuster or basically pile the court up,” Manchin promised.
But Manchin also said he would not advocate forming states in Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Will he go all the way to change his mind and will the Democrats start pushing this hard without the Republicans stopping them?