Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., in a preliminary move that could jam his own politically vulnerable colleagues, is working on a bill to delay the individual mandate by a year, his office confirmed Wednesday.

obamawipesbrowapRepublican Marco Rubio of Florida is working on legislation to delay the mandate indefinitely — which Manchin’s office says the senator does not support — and it’s entirely possible the GOP could push for a delay provision to be included as an amendment vote to the next moving vehicle, using Manchin’s effort as leverage inside the Dome and as political fodder outside it, from entities such as the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The Rubio bill would delay the mandate for six months after a Government Accountability Office certification that the website is working.

It’s not yet clear what the Manchin legislation would look like. Manchin’s office only would confirm that it’s being discussed and the senator is looking for co-sponsors.

“He believes that this year should be a transition year and the penalty should not be imposed. He does believe that individuals should still be able to sign up for the exchanges if they want,” Manchin spokesman Jonathan Kott said in an emailed statement.

Senate Republicans have focused extensively on targeting in-cycle Democrats from more moderate states for their support of health care, including Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska. A Democrat floating legislation that would keep the mandate, which is the heart of the Democrats’ health care law, in the spotlight, knowing that the administration and leadership likely would prevent it from becoming law with exchanges already open, only creates political heartache for Democrats and bolsters the Republican position.

An actionable bill — as opposed to just a slap-on-the-wrist letter, like one Tuesday from in-cycle Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. — will force Democrats to take public positions, potentially repeatedly, on an issue that could be neatly packaged into attack ads.

Manchin will appear on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor tonight to talk about delaying the individual mandate.

Host Bill O’Reilly told Rubio on Tuesday that he would invite the West Virginia senator on the show to discuss partnering with Republicans on legislation.