And perhaps the most important major issue where Manchin will side with the GOP is on the minimum wage. He simply seems immovable on his opposition to a $15 national hourly rate.

“I would amend it to $11. You know that. Because I think that’s basically a base that we should have in America right now,” Manchin said, explaining that he would raise the wage up from $7.25 over two years. “It gets people who work 40 hours at least over the poverty guidelines. The states that have $15, already have it. That’s great.”

Tester and centrist Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) will also be central decision-makers to Democrats’ priorities on immigration, health care and spending issues. But even among that group, Manchin stands out…

Put it all together, and it’s almost hard to imagine a legislator having that much sway over the priorities of a party that controls the Senate, House and White House. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said simply: “He is the man.”