Republican billionaire investor Ken Langone and his wife each contributed $5,000 to Sen. Joe Manchin's leadership PAC in late December, a week after he opposed President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act, reports CNBC.
It's the first time Langone has donated to a Democrat since he contributed to Bill Daley's Chicago mayoral campaign in 2019.
Manchin, a key holdout on Biden's social spending package, has been flooded with money from Republican and corporate donors since publicly opposing the bill.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., another lawmaker challenging Biden's legislation, has also received money from similar groups, including a check from billionaire Stanley Hubbard in September.
"Those are two good people — Manchin and Sinema — and I think we need more of those in the Democratic Party," Hubbard said at the time, according to the New York Times.
Many of the donors have little history with the lawmakers, according to the Times.
Langone in November praised Manchin for showing "guts and courage" and vowed to throw "one of the biggest fundraisers I've ever had for him."
In a statement to the Times, Langone, who has donated millions of dollars in federal political donations to Republicans, said, "My political contributions have always been in support of candidates who are willing to stand tall on principle, even when that means defying their own party or the press."
Manchin in early January said he had not talked with the White House in the past two weeks despite a Biden administration official saying the senator recently discussed the Build Back Better bill with the president.
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