Vulnerable Dems ready to work with Trump

Vulnerable Dems ready to work with Trump
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Vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2018 are already identifying areas where they’re willing to work with President-elect Donald Trump and Republican colleagues. 

North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampCramer questions if allegations should disqualify Kavanaugh ‘even if it’s all true’ Heitkamp highlights anti-human trafficking bill in new ad Midterm polling data favors Democrats — in moderation MORE (D-N.D.) is ready to work with Republicans on legislation to invest in “clean coal” technologies.

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More broadly, she says she’s willing to work across the aisle on regulatory reform.

“My priority is standing up for North Dakota, not party politics. The reason I’m in the U.S. Senate is to work with Republicans and Democrats to get things done,” she told The Hill in a statement.  

Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh MORE (D-Ind.) is ready to work with the GOP and the Trump administration on military mental healthcare issues, curbing the exodus of U.S. jobs to foreign countries and combating the opioid epidemic.

“My responsibility to Hoosiers is to support the best ideas, regardless of whether the idea comes from a Republican or Democrat,” he said in a statement.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterOn The Money: US trade chief casts doubt on Canada joining new deal | House panel invites Watt accuser to testify | Brady defends GOP message on tax cuts Poll: Tester leads GOP challenger by 4 in Montana Montana GOP Senate candidate's office dropped fines against donor: report MORE (D-Mont.) hopes to work with Republicans to reduce the deficit, clean up Washington by stopping former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists and passing legislation to improve service at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a major Trump talking point during the campaign.

“If it creates jobs, strengthens our economy, and is good for Montana then chances are I’m on board.  We can’t just say ‘no’ because the idea comes from the other side of the aisle,” he said.

All three Democrats represent states that Trump won in a landslide this month.

They all appear to realize they need to show off their bipartisan credentials early to avoid GOP attacks down the line.

While outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination MORE (Nev.) didn’t want Democrats to work with vulnerable Republicans ahead of the 2016 elections, his heir apparent Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBredesen says he won't back Schumer for Senate Dem leader Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV MORE (D-N.Y.) is signaling a willingness to let his members do what they need to do to survive in the next Congress.

Schumer named another vulnerable Democrat, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos GOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh MORE (D-W.Va.), to his leadership team.

Manchin voted against Reid serving another term as leader after the 2014 midterm election and recently slammed him as divisive for criticizing Trump in the wake of his victory.   

A spokesman for Manchin said his top priorities next year include working with Trump and Republicans to pass the Miners protection Act, roll back “harmful regulations” on coal, renegotiate trade policies and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. 

Trump won West Virginia with nearly 69 percent of the vote. 

Tester and two other Democrats up for reelection in 2018 in states won by Trump, Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyMalnutrition Awareness Week spotlights the importance of national nutrition programs Poll: Democrats hold big leads in Pennsylvania Senate, governor races The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify MORE (Pa.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSherrod Brown says he's 'not actively considering' running for president Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (Ohio.), are cosponsors of the clean coal bill.  

That bill had little chance of moving while Reid was in charge. He once declared with typical bluntness “it doesn’t exist… there is no such thing as clean-coal technology.”

Democrats in tough races have been quick to call for putting the bad blood of the election behind them and focus on delivering results for constituents. 

“Working across the aisle with her Republican colleagues to forge compromise and advance bipartisan ideas is exactly what Claire’s done since she joined the Senate—regardless of which party holds the White House or who’s in charge of Congress—and it’s exactly what she’ll keep doing,” said John LaBombard, a spokesman for Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillOvernight Health Care: Bill banning 'gag clauses' on drugs heads to Trump's desk | Romney opposes Utah Medicaid expansion | GOP candidate under fire over ad on pre-existing conditions GOP Senate candidate says he supports pre-existing conditions while backing lawsuit to end them Disclosures suggest rebates and insurers responsible for rising out-of-pocket drug costs MORE (D-Mo.), who is expected to run for re-election in a state that Trump won with 57 percent of the vote.  

Tax reform is one area where Republicans could see cooperation from Democrats.

Jim Kessler, a former aide to Schumer who now serves as senior vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, says “it’s possible” that Senate Democrats help Republicans pass a tax reform package. 

“I think the key words are revenue neutral,” he said. “Particularly if you’re looking at the business side. If it includes provisions to help businesses grow and stay here and employ here, there’s always been appetite among Democrats to do that.” 

Twelve Senate Democrats bucked their leadership in 2001 to vote for the first round of then President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. Of the defectors, only Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinKavanaugh accuser Ramirez's attorney says Republicans were no-shows on scheduled call Dem senators slam GOP for announcing Kavanaugh vote ahead of Ford testimony Grassley to Feinstein: We won't delay Kavanaugh hearing MORE (Calif.) is still in the Senate. 

“There could be a number of vulnerable Democratic senators who are up in 2018 that are going to be looking over their shoulders and thinking this is going to be pretty popular,” said Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said of tax reform. 

Repealing and replacing ObamaCare is a tougher subject, Democrats say, because of lingering bad feelings over Republicans’ refusal in recent years to move any legislation to improve President Obama’s signature legislative issue.

“I’m not sure that Democrats are going to rescue Republicans from the train they’re about to throw themselves in front of. There’s a fair amount of bitterness that Republicans were not reasonable players in the [Affordable Care Act] discussion,” said Kessler.

Democratic strategists predict Republicans will pay a political price if they repeal ObamaCare, throwing as many as 20 million people off insurance plans, and fail to pass new reforms to soften the blow. 

“The politics of healthcare have flipped,” said the senior Democratic aide. 

Another issue with new momentum is authorization to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration shut down.

Ten Democrats voted last year to approve the Keystone pipeline. Six of them are running for re-election in states that Trump won: McCaskill, Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester and Casey.