Senator Joe Manchin, one of the most important swing votes in the US Senate, has stated that he will vote against the Democrats' election reform bill. His declaration almost guarantees the bill's defeat in the Senate's 50-50 split.
The West Virginia Democrat wrote in an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail published early Sunday morning that partisan voting changes would almost certainly assure that party tensions continue to develop across the country.
Manchin also stated that he remained opposed to any moves to abolish or weaken the filibuster, a Senate feature that requires 60 votes to advance most legislation. He also urged for a bipartisan reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act on the topic of voting rights.
Voter bill could eliminate the filibuster
Manchin, along with fellow Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema, has emerged as a key stumbling block for Democrats hoping to recover elements of President Joe Biden's plans in the Senate, where the party is 10 votes short of the majority required to pass most legislation.
In recent months, some Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, called the filibuster a "Jim Crow relic" and advocated for its abolition to protect voting rights. Democrats claim these rights are being threatened throughout the country by Republican-led state legislatures, The Independent reported.
Manchin has long stated that he will not support the repeal of the legislative filibuster, which states that at least 60 votes in the Senate are needed to approve significant legislation.
Due to the filibuster, Democrats require majority support within their caucus as well as 10 Republican votes to push significant measures through the national legislature. While Biden has supported the filibuster, several Democratic members have called for the filibuster to be removed from the Senate so that legislation may be passed with a simple majority vote.
Manchin backs John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but not with political provisions
The West Virginia Senator is a strong believer in the significance of bipartisan cooperation. While Republicans and some Democrats commend Manchin's attempts to work with the opposition, progressive Democrats have attacked the senator's more conservative ideas and moderate approach to politics on several occasions, as per Newsweek via MSN.
Republicans may use a filibuster to block Senate Democrats from getting all they want. A filibuster is a procedural technique that keeps bills from reaching the floor for a vote.
The Democrats did the same thing when they were in the minority in the upper chamber. At the time, former President Donald Trump pressed Senate Republicans to end the filibuster. In response, 33 Senate Democrats wrote to Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, urging them to keep the filibuster in place.
The For the People Act now has overwhelming support among Democrats in Congress, although not a single Republican has expressed support for it.
With a 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats can't afford to lose even one vote. If they can get all 50 Democrats on board and no Republicans, Vice President Kamala Harris will break the tie. Unfortunately, Manchin, a moderate Democrat, has proven to be a roadblock.
According to Daily Mail, Manchin made it clear that he supports the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but not with political provisions.
The West Virginia senator's remarks come after President Biden made a dig at Manchin during a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday.