The Democrats’ voting rights bill is essentially 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 are now witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself been overtly politicized,” Manchin wrote in a statement. op/ed published Sunday morning in the Charleston Gazette-MaiI. “Today’s debate on how best to protect our right to vote and hold elections, however, is not about finding consensus, but about seeking party advantage.”
“I believe partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening ties 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 on Sunday that he will vote against President Joe Biden’s For the People voting rights bill because it means ending the filibuster.
Manchin expressed how aggravated he is by the Democrats denouncing the filibuster now that they have a majority in Congress and the White House.
‘[S]Uncle Democrats have again proposed to abolish the Senate filibuster rule to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic backing,” Manchin wrote.
“They’ve tried to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it was critical in the past to protect the rights of Democrats.”
The West Virginia Democratic senator, in his op-ed titled “Why I’m Voting Against the For the People Act,” recalled that Democrats publicly defended the filibuster in 2017 when Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. House.
At the time, Trump urged Senate Republicans to ignore the filibuster. In response, 33 Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell warning against eliminating the filibuster.
Now the “For the People” bill has gained widespread support among Democrats in Congress, and not a single Republican voted for it.
With a 50-50 Senate split, Democrats can’t afford to lose even one vote or risk the legislation not passing. Lucky for them, if they can get all 50 members on board and no Republican members leave, the tie will be broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Unfortunately, a moderate Democrat, Manchin has proved an obstacle now that Democrats control the House, Senate and Oval Office.
Independent Senator Angus King of Maine, who has caucuses with Democrats, also told CNN on Sunday that he is “reluctant” to support ending the filibuster.
Senator Angus King, a Maine independent who conducts caucuses with Democrats, told CNN on Sunday he is “reluctant” to vote to end the filibuster, but would do so to give more Americans the right to vote.
“Not in general,” he said bluntly to State of the Union host Jake Tapper when asked if he was in favor of overturning the measure.
“I’m very hesitant about it,” he added. “But when it comes to voting rights and Americans’ right to go to the — to the polls and select their leaders versus the filibuster, I choose democracy.”
Manchin wrote in his op-ed on Sunday: “[V]electoral reforms done in a partisan manner will pretty much keep partisan divisions deepening.”
Republicans can prevent Senate Democrats from getting everything they want by forcing a filibuster, a measure taken to prevent bills from making it to the floor for a vote in the first place.
Democrats used the same stunt when they were the minority party in the Senate.
Manchin cleared the air about his support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but not with such partisan measures.
The West Virginia senator’s comments also came after President Biden took a jab at Manchin during remarks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday.
At the same time, Manchin’s Republican counterpart, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, is leading GOP negotiations with Biden over an infrastructure deal.