Politics

Reid: Manchin ’Obviously Running’ for Trump Cabinet Post

Manchin is meeting with president-elect on Monday

Reid is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Departing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Sen. Joe Manchin III is clearly angling for a position in president-elect Donald Trump’s administration.

Manchin is meeting with Trump on Monday, and Reid said the West Virginia Democrat is looking for a job in the Cabinet. 

Joe Manchin obviously is running for a Cabinet spot,” Reid said in an interview on CNN. “I know that we’ve done stuff in the last few weeks to try to make Manchin happy so he’d be another Democrat, at least temporarily.”

Reid was seemingly referring to last week’s shutdown drama, where Democrats united behind Manchin over coal miners’ health care. Manchin had indicated that Democrats could block a must-pass resolution funding the government in a push to expand the health care program which is about to become insolvent.

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, publicly backed Manchin’s effort. Schumer also named Manchin to his leadership team for the next Congress.

Senate Democrats’ Stand on CR Might Signal Tactics Shift for 2018 ]

Reid’s statement suggests Democrats stuck by Manchin to keep him in the Senate. Manchin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manchin faces a tough re-election in 2018, since Trump won West Virginia by 42 points. 

If Manchin left the Senate, Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin would appoint a replacement to serve out Manchin’s term. But without an incumbent on the ballot, Senate Democrats may have an even tougher time holding the seat.

Democratic Sen. Heitkamp to Talk Cabinet Post With Trump ]

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has also met with Trump and been rumored to be a potential pick for a Cabinet post. But Reid doubted the North Dakota Democrat would take the job.

“I just know Heidi Heitkamp, I would doubt very seriously, her being the populist that she is, that she would do that,” Reid said.

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc.

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