Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) suggested Wednesday that he would back President Donald Trump’s immigration plan, potentially giving the White House bipartisan support during a key test vote on the floor.
Given the high likelihood that a Republican amendment codifying Trump’s four-part immigration framework will fall short of the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, Manchin’s potential support amounts to a free "yes" vote for one of Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents heading into the November midterms. Manchin opposed the president’s proposals to repeal Obamacare and cut taxes, even he’s prepares to run for reelection in a state the president carried by 42 percentage points.
Manchin told reporters after leaving a meeting of bipartisan senators working toward a less conservative immigration compromise that, judging by "everything I’ve seen" of the GOP amendment executing the White House’s immigration framework, "I could support that."
The White House-backed immigration amendment, authored Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), is expected to get a vote on the floor as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
Among other red-state Democrats facing difficult reelection battles, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said Tuesday that he would oppose the White House framework and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri declined to address the issue.
Burgess Everett contributed to this report.