Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (pictured) dooms the effort to expand voting rights and threatens the legislative agenda of the Biden Administration.
The West Virginia senator said on Sunday that he will not support the For The People Act, which enables voting, changes campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, limits partisan gerrymandering, and creates new ethics rules for federal officeholders.
The House has passed the bill, but Senate Republicans are blocking final consideration of the bill with resort to a filibuster.
In a 50-50 Senate, 60 votes are needed to bypass the filibuster. But Manchin added on Sunday that he will never end the tactic.
If the filibuster remains, it will be difficult for the Administration to obtain passage of the $1 trillion American Jobs Plan — already reduced from $2.3 trillion amid Republican opposition — and the $2 trillion American Families Plan.
Efforts may also be scuttled for immigration reforms, a permanent expansion of the Affordable Care Act, controls of the price of prescription drugs, and the limiting of climate change.
“Partisan Voting Legislation”
Republicans in state legislatures, following Donald Trump’s falsehoods about a “stolen election”, are moving to restrict voting rights. Georgia and Florida have passed legislation, and a bill in Texas was only blocked at the end of May by a Democratic walkout in the Senate.
But writing in The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin portrayed the For The People Act as the threat, rather than a defense against the restrictions.
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.
The 818-page Act would roll back the Republican state laws limiting early and mail-in voting and empowering partisan poll watchers. It requires major-party candidates for President and Vice President to release 10 years’ worth of personal and business tax returns, and it ends the President’s and Vice President’s exemption from conflict-of-interest rules.
If a bill to facilitate voting, limit partisan gerrymandering, require campaign finance transparency, restore campaign fin. enforcement, and mandate paper ballots is only on the agenda of one political party, that doesn’t make it partisan. It makes the other party antidemocratic.
— Josh Rudolph (@JoshRudes) June 6, 2021
Manchin said he will support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which restores federal oversight over state-level voting law changes to protect minority groups.
But the 60-vote threshold to end the filibuster also blocks that bill, unless there is a notable shift in the position of Republican Senators.
🎥 1963 Archived Video
Martin Luther King, Jr. called the filibuster a “tragedy” used by “misguided Senators” to block “people from even voting.”
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) June 6, 2021