Manchin first Dem to announce support for Gorsuch

Manchin first Dem to announce support for Gorsuch

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinMnuchin: Trump administration examining online sales tax issue Manchin on GOP lawmaker’s suggestion for a duel with female senators: I’ll ‘step outside with him’ McCain returning to Senate in time for health vote MORE (W.Va.) announced Thursday that he will back Judge Neil Gorsuch, becoming the first Senate Democrat to throw their support behind President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

"I will vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court," Manchin tweeted.

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Thirty-three Senate Democrats have come out against Gorsuch's nomination, according to The Hill's Whip List, with Republicans signaling that they are willing to change Senate rules to confirm him with a simple majority if eight Democrats don't back him.

But even before announcing his support, Manchin said he would vote to limit debate on Gorsuch and move his nomination forward, defying Senate Democratic leaders.

Manchin is up for reelection in 2018 in a state Trump won by double digits in November and is considered to be a vulnerable target for Republicans looking to expand their Senate majority.

Shortly after Manchin announced his position, Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampRegulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Why governors hold power in the battle for GOP healthcare votes Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (N.D.) became the second Democratic "yes" vote on Gorsuch.

 

She is up for re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won handily.

Other red-state Democrats facing potentially tough reelection bids — including Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillMattis rips Pentagon officials for M wasted on Afghanistan camouflage Pentagon to address M spent on untested Afghan camouflage: report Federal Election Commission must not shy away from Russia probe MORE (Mo.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyGOP's Messer to announce Senate bid against Donnelly next month Indiana GOP rep: Likely primary opponent 'lying about my family' Dem senator to sell stock in family company that uses outsourced labor MORE (Ind.) — remain undecided on Gorsuch, and have not yet said whether they will join fellow Democrats in trying to filibuster the nominee.

— Updated at 5:01 p.m.