Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, is open to adding two new states — the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The liberal push to add the District and Puerto Rico comes as Democrats see adding U.S. Senate seats from those jurisdictions as providing them with a firmer grasp on control of Congress.
With the Senate set to be divided 50-50 and tie-breaking control belonging to Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris, Mr. Manchin’s support could prove critical to many key issues on liberals’ wish lists, including adding states to the union.
“I don’t know enough about that yet. I want to see the pros and cons, so I’m waiting to see all the facts. I’m open up to see everything,” Mr. Manchin said on CNN when asked about whether he would support statehood for the District of Columbia.
“Statehood for Puerto Rico?” CNN’s Jake Tapper said.
“Same thing,” the senator said.
Mr. Manchin, however, did not indicate an openness to every aspect of liberals’ agenda. He said he opposes scrapping the filibuster and does not want to send $2,000 checks to Americans unless it is more targeted.