Democrats’ voting rights bill is effectively dead on arrival as Senator Joe Manchin said Sunday he will vote against the legislation because it ‘politicizes voting rights’ by including a measure that would eliminate the filibuster.
‘Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized,’ Manchin wrote in an op/ed published Sunday morning in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. ‘Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage.’
‘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,’ he added.
‘I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.’
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said in an op/ed Sunday that he will vote against President Joe Biden’s For the People voting rights act because it includes ending the filibuster
Manchin expressed how exacerbated he is by Democrats flipping on the filibuster now that they have a majority in Congress and the White House.
‘[S]ome Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support,’ Manchin wrote.
‘They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.’
The West Virginia Democratic senator reminded in his opinion piece, titled ‘Why I’m voting against the For the People Act’, that in 2017 Democrats were publicly defending the filibuster when Republicans held control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.
At the time, Trump was urging Senate Republicans to nix the filibuster. In response, 33 Senate Democrats penned a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell warning against eliminating the filibuster.
Now, the ‘For the People’ Act has garnered widespread support among Democrats in Congress, with not one Republican coming out in favor of it.
With a 50-50 split Senate, Democrats cannot afford to lose even one vote or else risk not getting legislation passed through. Luckily for them, if they can get all 50 members on board and no Republican members hops on, the tie is broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Unluckily, however, Manchin, a moderate Democrat, has proven to be an obstacle now that Democrats control the House, Senate and Oval Office.
Independent Senator Angus King of of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats, also told CNN on Sunday that he is ‘reluctant’ to support ending the filibuster.
Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, told CNN on Sunday that he is ‘reluctant’ to vote to end the filibuster, but would do so in order to give more Americans the right to vote
‘Not in general,’ he bluntly told State of the Union host Jake Tapper when asked if he support trashing the measure.
‘I’m very reluctant about it,’ he added. ‘But if it comes down to voting rights and the rights of Americans to go to the – go to the polls and select their leaders vs. the filibuster, I will choose democracy.’
Manchin penned in his op/ed on Sunday: ‘[V]oting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.’
Republicans are able to block Senate Democrats from getting everything they want passed by forcing a filibuster, which is a measure taken to prevent bills from even getting to the floor for a vote in the first place.
Democrats used the same stunt when they were the minority party in the upper chamber.
Manchin made sure to clear the air about his support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but not with such partisan measures included.
The West Virginia senator’s comments also came after President Biden on Tuesday took a jab at Manchin during remarks in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
At the same time, Manchin’s Republican counterpart Senator Shelley Moore Capito is leading GOP negotiations with Biden on an infrastructure deal.