Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a moderate who now has unprecedented power in the upper chamber’s 50-50 party split, made an announcement this week that’ll surely leave many of his colleagues huffing and puffing.
According to the Washington Examiner, after Manchin’s meeting with various civil rights leaders about the “For the People Act,” a federal voting reform bill that would radically change American elections and favor Democrats, the West Virginia senator said that while his meetings were “productive,” he’s still not on board with the bill.
“Wrong piece of legislation”
During a Sunday interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Manchin sent shockwaves through Capitol Hill as he told the host that he doesn’t support the bill because he feels it would cause further division in an already divided nation.
“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 said. “I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further than I’m in right now. I love my country, and I think my Democrat and Republican colleagues feel the same.”
Manchin went on to say that while there is some language in the bill with which he agrees, he added that there’s too much included in the bill that doesn’t pertain to election reform.
The Democrat-led bill would allow same-day voter registrations, vastly ease any voter ID restrictions, and radically change election laws to limit outside funds for campaigns, which many pundits say would directly benefit Democratic candidates in general.
The bill has already passed in the Democrat-controlled lower chamber and received zero support from Republicans. It’s expected to meet the same fate in the Senate over the summer, unless Democrats ultimately choose the “nuclear” option and nix the filibuster rule.
Manchin won’t budge
On Tuesday, the West Virginia Democrat met with a number of civil rights leaders from organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League to discuss the potential impact of the bill on American elections, especially as they pertain to minority communities.
Though Manchin reported that his meeting with Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders was “constructive” and “informative,” he has no plans to jump on board in support of passing the bill through the Senate.
“I don’t think anybody changed positions on that. We’re just learning where everybody’s coming from,” he said.
Not surprisingly, some of his Democratic colleagues immediately pulled the race card, with some suggesting that his failure to support the bill is the same as preserving Jim Crow-era laws.
Short of Democrats making what will undoubtedly be a highly controversial move to get rid of the filibuster rule, thank goodness there’s at least one sensible, moderate Democrat in the upper chamber preventing the radical left from wrecking this country even more so than President Joe Biden’s administration.