Congressional Democrats are bent on pushing a bill known as H.R. 1. Also known as the “For the People Act of 2021,” the bill has garnered quite a few critics who complain that it will dramatically increase the potential for future election fraud by loosening state voter laws.
But according to Breitbart, although the legislation easily passed through the House, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a moderate Democrat who currently wields virtually unmatched power in Congress, says he “would not be able to support” the bill, marking a devastating blow to his party’s ambitions to pass it.
Not a fan of partisan reform
Manchin was quoted in a Vox article from last month as asking, “How in the world could you, with the tension we have right now, allow a voting bill to restructure the voting of America on a partisan line?” Manchin added that he’s “not going to be a part of it.”
His comments on the future of the bill align with a statement posted to the West Virginia senator’s website on March 25. In it, Manchin outlined some of his primary complaints with the controversial legislation.
“A healthy democracy depends on a voting system that is accessible, free, fair, and secure. There are some legitimate concerns about the implementation of the For the People Act, especially in rural areas,” Manchin wrote.
“As a former Secretary of State, I know, firsthand, the importance of local decision-making around voter accessibility and election security,” he added.
Still, Manchin did not reject all of H.R. 1’s provisions, stating that “there are bipartisan proposals embedded in this bill that can strike the right balance and make great strides on each of these issues.”
“Instead of arguing about the election reforms on which we disagree, Congress should be working together to enact those on which we can agree,” the moderate Democrat added.
“There is no circumstance”
H.R. 1 is not the only issue on which Manchin has broken ranks with the party. The senator has also recently signaled his clear opposition to ending the filibuster — a highly desirable action for many Democrats who want to eliminate any possibility of Republicans obstructing their agenda to pass as much progressive legislation as possible.
“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government,” Manchin wrote in an April op-ed for The Washington Post.
“That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” he stressed. “The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”
Only time will tell if Manchin stands his ground on these key issues or ultimately buckles under intense pressure from his party. At this point, anything is possible.