In a bold move that threatens the survival of key pieces of the radical agenda championed by President Joe Biden, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) this weekend declared his unwillingness to support the For the People Act election bill and added that he will not vote to weaken or eliminate the upper chamber’s filibuster rules, despite intense pressure from the left, as Fox News reports.
During an appearance on the network’s Fox News Sunday, Manchin was asked about the sweeping – and extremely controversial – election reform legislation and explained, “It’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I’m not supporting that because I think it would divided us more. I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further.”
Since its introduction and subsequent passage in the House of Representatives in March, the election reform measure has been roundly criticized by Republicans for provisions that would federalize election processes, expand mail-in and early voting, facilitate automatic and same-day voter registration, limit states’ ability to purge ineligible voters from their rolls, and more.
Because of the 50-50 split that currently characterizes the Senate, Manchin’s decision places the bill in serious jeopardy, given that Democrats will now require a minimum of 10 Republican defectors in order to defeat a filibuster and bring the bill to a final vote, a virtual impossibility given the highly partisan nature of its contents, which have thus far attracted zero support from the other side of the aisle.
Frequently playing the role of spoiler for the far-left’s legislative plans, Manchin provided additional explanation of his stance in an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail in which he asked, “Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants?”
The senator lamented that “we are now witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overly politicized. 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.”
With the realization that legislative majorities do not last forever, and the partisan tide is certain to turn, perhaps sooner rather than later, Manchin derided his fellow party members who have “attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.”
Manchin continued, asserting, “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,” dealing a possible death blow to other progressive pet projects such as climate change in addition to the voting reform plan.
The senator from West Virginia, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who has also expressed her opposition to ending the filibuster, stands as a brave example of an elected official committed to putting principle before party, something that is regrettably rare in today’s short-sighted, win-at-all-costs political realm.