Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) made it clear that he’s done with the debate surrounding the now-hated filibuster, and vowed not to eliminate or weaken the critical Senate process in response to challenges from fellow Democrats to end the practice.
“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting [minority] input and our democratic form of government,” Manchin wrote. He argued the need to “usher [in] a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”
Manchin splashes ice water on filibuster reform AND multi-reconciliation …
“I simply do not believe budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the Senate.” https://t.co/b2cjRlGeSs
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) April 7, 2021
The Senate filibuster requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass most legislation. Many Democrats have pushed for a removal of the filibuster to require only a simply majority.
Democrats own a razor-thin lead in the current Senate. The 50-50 tie sides with the left only due to Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie breaking vote.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted Republicans faced the same issue when they controlled the Senate:
Four years ago, Republicans had just won unified control. President Trump and others pressured us heavily to scrap this rule when it was protecting Democrats. But we stood firm. I stood firm. I said we would not do that to our colleagues. No short-term policy win justifies destroying the Senate as we know it. Especially since laws would become so brittle and reversible.
Fellow Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) has also sided with Manchin to deny changes to the filibuster. She has challenged senators to “change their behavior” instead of changing the rules.
The filibuster issue remains central to the Senate as the legislators face several critical issues passed by the Democrat-controlled House. Among these are gun control laws and efforts at voting integrity.