Manchin to back Trump proposal to end shutdown

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenators scramble to save infrastructure deal GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (D-W.Va.) said Thursday that he would support a White House–backed proposal to end the partial government shutdown in exchange for $5.7 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Manchin, who is from a state where President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE remains popular, is the first Democrat to say he will vote for the proposal first outlined by Trump over the weekend.

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The West Virginia senator said he would also vote for a continuing resolution that would reopen the roughly quarter of the government currently closed and fund it through Feb. 8. 

"I'm voting for both. I'm doing everything in my power to open up this government," Manchin said.

The centrist Democrat said while heading into a meeting with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (N.Y.) that he is ticked off over the lack of talks between Trump and Democratic leaders on how to end the government shutdown. 

“This is ridiculous,” Manchin said after hearing the House held its last votes of the Thursday, meaning no deal is likely to pass Congress in the next several days. 

The shutdown is currently in its 34th day. If the shutdown continues, federal workers will miss their second paycheck on Friday, Manchin noted.

“I don’t know what it is. I can’t even tell you how they can be so callous not to even understand it. You can’t do this. We got to sit here and work through this,” he added.  

Manchin said he would support the president declaring a national emergency to build a border wall or “whatever it takes to open the government.” 

He also said he planned to tell Senate colleagues later on Thursday to “how t’d off I am and people back home [are].”

“We have to have an adult in the room. We haven’t had many right now,” he added.  

In addition to $5.7 billion for the wall, the White House effort would also let Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and some temporary protected status holders apply for a three-year extensions, but include new restrictions on asylum seekers.

But the White House proposal is considered dead in the Senate, as well as the House. Republicans hold 53 seats, but they would need at least seven Democratic votes to get over a 60-vote filibuster threshold. 

Manchin said there "might be" additional Democrats who could vote for the White House proposal but acknowledged that he wasn't sure. 

No other Democrats have said they will vote for Trump's plan.

Manchin argued that House Democrats, who said Wednesday that they would be willing to provide as much as $5.7 billion for border security as long as none of it goes to building a wall, might need to give some ground on that sticking point. 

“We got to get together. You got the House saying now, ‘Oh 5.7 might be OK as long as you don’t do a wall,’ and you got the president saying, ‘I just want a wall.’ Somewhere in between someone’s got to meet,” he said.

Updated at 12:05 p.m.