Joe Manchin’s Position On DC, Puerto Rico Statehood Remains A Mystery

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
Font Size:

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has refused to say if he believes the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico should be added as new states to the U.S., after being asked multiple times about the issue.

In multiple interviews within one week, Manchin refused to give a straight answer when asked if he approves of adding two new states to the U.S., saying he still needs to think about it and weigh out the upsides and downsides. The move could be possible now that Democrats will soon have full control over the House, Senate, and the White House.

In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Manchin was pressed about statehood for both Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, to which he responded by saying: “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.”

When Tapper asked Manchin about statehood for Puerto Rico, Manchin responded by saying: “Same thing. I need more facts on that.” (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Think The Democrats Will Throw Me Out’: Joe Manchin Blows Off Possibility Of Leaving The Party)

In a Monday interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Manchin was asked about statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, and specifically about ending the filibuster and changing Senate rules in order to make that possible. Manchin responded by saying: “I would say, Chuck, have you sat down and tried to work with Mitch? And, Mitch, would you sit down with Chuck? Can you all try to work this out? Can we find some compromise to where we can get 60 or 65 of us voting for the same thing?” (RELATED: ‘This Is So Ill-Advised’: Joe Manchin Pans Impeachment, Says The Votes Just Aren’t There)


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Republicans in September that if the GOP loses control of all three branches of government that Democrats will try to end the filibuster and add D.C. and Puerto Rico as states.

“After they change the filibuster, they’re going to admit the District as a state. They’re going to admit Puerto Rico as a state. That’s four new Democratic senators in perpetuity,” McConnell said in a speech.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would love to see D.C. and Puerto Rico become states in a September interview with MSNBC, saying: “Believe me, on D.C. and Puerto Rico — particularly if Puerto Rico votes for it, D.C. already has voted for it and wants it — [we] would love to make them states.”

The Daily Caller also reached out to Manchin’s office about this issue to which they declined to comment.