Tags: | Maine | Senate | Democrats | West Virginia

Angus King, Manchin Staying With Dems in Senate

By    |   Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 06:42 AM

Efforts by incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expand a possible 54-member Republican majority to 55 appear to have been dashed by the decision of independent Sen. Angus King of Maine to continue to caucus with the Democrats.

McConnell was expected to approach King and West Virginia's centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin about joining the Republican conference, The Hill reported.

On Wednesday, King announced he would continue to caucus with Democrats, The Wall Street Journal reported.

King had all along said he would base his decision on what is best for Maine, according to the Hill.

In deciding not to move to McConnell's camp, he said it was best for Maine if its senators had connections to both parties. Maine's other senator is Republican Susan Collins.

"To change my alignment to a caucus which currently appears openly hostile to the president would give up the important advantage my engagement in the Democratic caucus carries with it," King told the Journal.

He said he would continue to make "independent decisions on bills, amendments" and "presidential policies, just as I have over the last two years."

Manchin also said he would not join with the Republicans.

The former governor, who may be interested in returning to the governor's mansion, reacted to the Democrats' sweeping loses on Tuesday by keeping up his criticism of Majority Leader Harry Reid for not allowing senators to vote on controversial bills.

Manchin said Democrats had lost the support of moderate voters. "I'm a moderate Democrat. I'm a proud West Virginia Democrat, which is a moderate.

"I am fiscally responsible. I am socially compassionate. And I think that's where most of America is," he told KWIT Television.

Manchin said he would not become a Republican, but that Republicans were welcome to "reach out" on specific issues since he doesn't make voting decisions along party lines, KWIT reported.

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Efforts by incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expand the GOP majority to possibly 55 seats were dashed when independent Sen. Angus King of Maine decided to continue to caucus with Democrats, saying his state's other senator is a Republican.
Maine, Senate, Democrats, West Virginia
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2014-42-06
Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 06:42 AM
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