In the evenly split Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is a thorn in the side for Democrats seeking to advance their radical agenda — and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
Civil rights leaders, including NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Rev. Al Sharpton, met with the West Virginia moderate on Tuesday to try and persuade him to support the Democrats’ massive election overhaul bill, S1, also known as the “For the People Act.” But after the meeting was over, the senator appeared to be unmoved, The Hill reported.
No change in his stance
Manchin called the meeting “constructive,” but when asked whether his position on S1 had changed, he replied, “No, I don’t think anybody changed positions on that.”
“I’m very honored that we all got the chance to speak, listen to each other. That’s really what it’s about. We learned and listened,” he told reporters.
“We had a constructive conversation. I think everybody pretty much knows the importance of what we’re doing. And I think I’m very much concerned about our democracy, protecting people’s voting rights,” Manchin added.
Manchin announces opposition
On Sunday, the senator came out publicly against the election bill, arguing it will only further divide the country.
“I think 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 divide us further,” Manchin told Fox News Sunday. “I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further than I’m in right now.”
He reiterated his stance in a Sunday op-ed for West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette-Mail.
“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,” the Democrat senator declared. “Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”
Schumer vows to move forward
Manchin has expressed his support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that’s not good enough after Democrats passed the For the People Act in the House.
“H.R. 4 must be passed, but it will not be ready until the fall, and it is not a substitute for H.R. 1,” she wrote in a letter Tuesday.
Despite Manchin’s opposition, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has promised to move the bill forward in the Senate next month, according to The Hill.