Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Senator Joe Manchin and the filibuster.
Democratic Senator from West Virginia Joe Manchin III said on Wednesday that under no circumstances would he vote to eliminate or weaken the legislative filibuster in his most definitive statement yet on the topic, a blow to Democrats hopes of pushing major aspects of President Biden’s agenda through Congress.
“There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. “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.”
The West Virginia senator also suggested that he would be opposed to using the budget reconciliation process, under which certain legislation requires only a majority vote, again to circumvent the filibuster, an avenue Senate Democrats have considered for passing Biden’s ambitious infrastructure package.
As the most conservative Senate Democrat, Manchin has an outsized role in an evenly divided Senate where it’s absent Republican support, Democrats need Manchin to get anything passed. Another conservative Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, has also said she is opposed to getting rid of the filibuster, and in his op-ed, Manchin made clear he does not agree with some of his colleagues that it is worth getting rid of the filibuster to enact new voting laws. “Our ultimate goal should be to restore bipartisan faith in our voting process by assuring all Americans that their votes will be counted, secured and protected,” he wrote.
Democrats used the budget reconciliation process to pass Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid relief bill, which Manchin supported, and are viewing it as a vehicle for additional spending and tax proposals on a range of issues. But Manchin dead this idea in his op-ed although the was not definitive about whether he would support its use again this year. “We should all be alarmed at how the budget reconciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle debate around the major issues facing our country today. Legislating was never supposed to be easy,” he wrote, adding: “I simply do not believe budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the Senate.”