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Manchin Rejects Democrats' 'For the People Act' & reiterates support for preserving Senate’s filibuster
Should Senate Democrats abolish the filibuster to pass their election reform bill?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) wrote an op-ed over the weekend to outline his opposition congressional Democrats’ push to pass their For the People Act along party-lines, support for bipartisan election reform, and continued rejection of calls to abolish the legislative filibuster.
- Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), is among the few remaining Senate Democrats who have not reversed their support for the Senate’s 60 vote threshold for legislation (aka the legislative filibuster). They are also among the handful of Democratic senators to publicly express opposition to the For the People Act as drafted. Given that Democrats could theoretically overturn the filibuster with 50 votes, their ongoing opposition dooms any efforts to that end.
- His op-ed appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail in his home state of West Virginia and read in part:
“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.”
- Manchin’s opposition to congressional Democrats’ election overhaul comes amid an effort by Republican-led states ― including Arizona, Georgia, and Florida ― to enact voting reforms along party-lines. It has led to the West Virginia senator drawing criticism from members of his own party, such as Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), who told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi:
“Sen. Manchin would rather preserve Jim Crow on some outdated theory of bipartisanship that frankly does not exist in the same way today as it did a generation ago before the advent of Fox News and other right-wing propaganda machines on television, and of course the rise of Donald Trump. I would like to see the president rise to the occasion, to use the stature of his office, the bully pulpit, to make Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema understand that this is necessary, that this is of foundational importance.”
- Similarly, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) told CNN that Manchin “has become the new Mitch McConnell,” and added:
“Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy and to stop our work for the people, the work that the people sent us here to do.”
- Manchin concluded his op-ed with a call to unity for lawmakers to work together and move past divisive rhetoric:
“American democracy is something special, it is bigger than one party, or the tweet-filled partisan attack politics of the moment. It is my sincere hope that all of us, especially those who serve, remember our responsibility to do more to unite this country before it is too late.”
(Photo Credit: Manchin: Senate Democrats via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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