Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) broke with Democrat ranks again to oppose the Washington, D.C. statehood bill currently making its way through Congress.
There is currently a bill that has already passed the Democrat-controlled House by a margin of 216-208. This bill would make DC the 51st state in the union, but it has hit major roadblocks in the Senate.
According to Fox News, Manchin stated in an interview:
"If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote."
Manchin is considered to be a moderate Democrat, and serves as a senator with many conservative constituents. Perhaps because of this, he has split with the Democratic party line and at times voted with Republicans on many issues.
While Manchin himself hasn't pronounced on this issue in a similar fashion, many Republicans have been calling the measure a blatant power-grab by Democrats, since tiny and highly left-leaning Washington, D.C. would be granted two whole Senate seats if the measure passes in its current form.
The US Senate is currently very slightly in the Democrats' favor, with 50 seats for each party. According to the Constitution, in the case of a tie, Vice-President Kamala Harris would get to cast the tie-breaking vote, which is expected to almost surely toe the Democratic party line.
Currently, D.C. is a city with no state attached to it, and, while it does have one congressional district, the delegate doesn't get to vote in the House.