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Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin made a rare move on Thursday breaking with his party by endorsing embattled Republican Sen. Susan Collins' 2020 re-election bid, saying he would travel to Maine to campaign for her if asked, and it "would be an absolute shame" for "America to lose someone like Susan Collins."

Why it matters: Collins, who cast the decisive vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last year, is one of the most vulnerable Republican senators seeking re-election. Democrats are targeting her seat following their increasingly strong showing in the state. Manchin and Collins are among few remaining moderate senators.

"You think my party will be happy? No. It’s not about party. You know what, [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer] knows me well. He’s my dear friend. …We’re able to talk. We understand each other. And we’re able to get into it sometimes, but we’re always going to walk away as friends. He knows how I feel about people and I vote the way how I want to vote. "
— Manchin said a taped interview for C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" to air on Friday

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

9 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios