Report: Obama, Oprah join campaign to convince Manchin to kill Senate filibuster

According to a new report from Politico, leftists including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even Oprah Winfrey are going “all-out” in an attempt to convince Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to support efforts by Democrats to kill the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

The filibuster rule sets a 60-vote threshold for most legislation to pass in Congress’ upper chamber. By eliminating it, Democrats could pass legislation by a simple majority, or 51 votes, which they just barely have thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

Politico reports that Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Angus King (I-ME) are among those “leading the campaign to sway” Manchin, who has so far been steadfast in his opposition to eliminating the rule.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Manchin’s vote

Per Politico:

Manchin has told colleagues that his phone line has been lighting up with prominent names outside the Senate in recent days. He’s heard from former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and talk-show legend Oprah Winfrey, plus former staffers to both Manchin and former Sen. Robert Byrd [D-WV], according to a person familiar with the talks. Manchin’s office declined comment on those calls.

The new report comes as Manchin is continuing to grapple with the fallback of his decision to block President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill from passing in the upper chamber late last year.

Now, it looks like the moderate West Virginia lawmaker will be key to Democrats’ efforts to pass a sweeping election reform package. As things stand, Dems can’t pass the legislation without the support of at least 10 Republicans in the Senate.

Without the filibuster, they could do it without even a single GOP senator signing on.

“The whole turkey”

But Manchin has so far indicated he’s not willing to budge. “Anytime there’s a carve-out, you eat the whole turkey,” he remarked last week, according to Politico.

In another recent interview, Manchin said his fellow Democrats haven’t made a strong enough case.

“It’s very informational,” he said of talks with his colleagues on the matter, according to Politico. “My goodness, we’ve got a lot of historical background, learning how we got to where we are today as a body. How we’ve evolved and who we are and how we got here and the changes that have been made over a period of time. … They know where I’m at.”

Only time will tell if the West Virginia senator sticks to his word.

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