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McConnell and Manchin shaking hands ahead of a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Wednesday made an open plea for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to join the Republican Party, after Manchin's announcement earlier in the week that he would not vote for President Biden's signature agenda item.

What he's saying: "I think what Manchin is discovering is that there just aren't any Democrats left in the Senate that are pro-life and terribly concerned about debt and deficit and inflation," McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

  • "If he were to join us, he'd be joining a lot of folks who have similar views on a whole range of issues."

The big picture: McConnell called the White House statement following Manchin's announcement, which accused the West Virginia Senator of going back on his word to the president, "astonishing."

  • "Usually, when you’ve got a member a little bit out of sync with everybody else, you give him a lot of love. They did exactly the opposite."
  • McConnell told Hewitt that he has been having a conversation with Manchin about switching parties "off and on for a couple of years."

Flashback: Manchin previously offered to become an independent if his Democratic colleagues thought he was "an embarrassment."

Go deeper: White House accuses Manchin of betraying "commitments" on BBB

Go deeper

Arkansas Senators: Don't bust filibuster

Sen. Tom Cotton; Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Sen. John Boozman; Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Both of Arkansas' Republican Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton made statements this week in defense of the chamber's filibuster rule.

Driving the news: President Biden attended the Senate Democratic caucus lunch Thursday to make a case for reforming the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker