Joe Manchin Says He’ll Vote ‘No’ On Democrats’ Partisan Election Reform Bill, Rains On Schumer’s Filibuster-Busting Parade
“Problem for Schumer/Ds here isn’t merely that this sinks S.1, which probably wasn’t going anywhere, but that it denies them their preferred terrain to force Rs’ hand on the filibuster.”
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) is standing his ground in defending the Senate in its traditional role as a deliberative body that serves to slow down whatever hot mess the House passes in the heat of a given historical moment. Manchin penned an op-ed in which he iterated his intention not to vote for the Democrat’s ‘For the People’ Act and his continued resistance to being party to the elimination of the filibuster.
Manchin: “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.” https://t.co/P1N79VG1Wa
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 6, 2021
[C]ongressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.
Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?
The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.
With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.
This is not a new stance for Manchin, who, unlike many of his fellow Democrats (and not a few Republicans), has not flip-flopped on important issues like keeping what’s left of the filibuster in tact.
As a reminder, just four short years ago, in 2017 when Republicans held control of the White House and Congress, President Donald Trump was publicly urging Senate Republicans to eliminate the filibuster. Then, it was Senate Democrats who were proudly defending the filibuster. Thirty-three Senate Democrats penned a letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warning of the perils of eliminating the filibuster.
It has been said by much wiser people than me that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Well, what I’ve seen during my time in Washington is that every party in power will always want to exercise absolute power, absolutely. Our founders were wise to see the temptation of absolute power and built in specific checks and balances to force compromise that serves to preserve our fragile democracy. The Senate, its processes and rules, have evolved over time to make absolute power difficult while still delivering solutions to the issues facing our country and I believe that’s the Senate’s best quality.
Yes, this process can be frustrating and slow. It will force compromises that are not always ideal. But consider the alternative. Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? I have always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.” And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda.
Kudos to Manchin here not only for sticking to his principles but for reminding both sides of the aisle that our country is not supposed to be ruled by one party in perpetuity, with one party dictating and demanding “everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants.” Sure, that sounds good to progressives and communists now, but it didn’t sound so good when President Trump was in office. Likewise, Trump supporters are horrified at the thought of Democrats and the Biden administration ramming through its agenda along partisan lines.
The Senate is supposed to slow and cool down the mob rule impulses that tend to manifest in the House, and that holds true no matter which party holds the majority in one or both houses of Congress.
One of the more interesting aspects of Manchin choosing this hill on which to take his stand is that it torpedoes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) favored political football for ending the filibuster.
Problem for Schumer/Ds here isn't merely that this sinks S.1, which probably wasn't going anywhere, but that it denies them their preferred terrain to force Rs' hand on the filibuster. Can't very well blame GOP intransigence/outmoded process if you can't produce a majority.
— Liam Donovan (@LPDonovan) June 6, 2021
Manchin is taking this stand in a particularly charged partisan era that is earning him the disdain, hatred, and wrath of the left.
— Deirdre Jones (@DeirdreJones54) June 6, 2021
holy fucking shit, Joe Manchin is the most powerful Republican in government
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) June 6, 2021
— Cynthia Lawless (@lifeofbetty) June 6, 2021
Spoken like a true Republican.
— Rex 💉 (@hothouserex) June 6, 2021
Democracy is going to die for Joe Manchin and Sinema's ego and greed. Whiteness will remain undefeated.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 6, 2021
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