Calls Intensify for Democrat Senator to Defect From Party

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday said he reached out to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to encourage him to join the Republican Party amid backlash over his opposition to the House-passed Build Back Better legislation.

Cornyn told KXAN — an Austin-based TV station that is part of Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill — that he texted Manchin, “Joe if they don’t want you we do,” but hadn’t heard back.

“I don’t know what he will decide to do. But I do know West Virginia has gotten increasingly red. …So yeah, we’d love to have him. That would change the majority,” Cornyn added.

The Senate is split evenly 50-50 with Democrats holding the majority because Vice President Harris can break a tie. If Manchin left the Democratic Party and joined with Republicans that would give the GOP a 51-49 majority and make Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) the majority leader.

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