Manchin says he won’t support a D.C. statehood bill.

Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, told local news reporters on Friday that he would not support a bill to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., saying he believed a constitutional amendment was needed instead of legislation.

It is the latest example of Mr. Manchin, a critical swing vote, pushing his party toward the center on major issues. Among other things, he has pushed for a smaller corporate tax hike in President Biden’s infrastructure plan and for more limited unemployment benefits in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

In a radio interview with Hoppy Kercheval of West Virginia’s MetroNews, Mr. Manchin said he had done “a deep dive” on the issue and pointed to findings from former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and from the Justice Department under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

“They all came to the same conclusion: If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment,” Mr. Manchin said. “It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote.”

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