Sen. Joe Manchin (D-VA) on Sunday said he will vote against a sweeping voting rights bill because Democrats are pushing for it without Republicans on board. He also and reiterated his opposition to gutting the filibuster, declaring in the strongest terms yet that he is not willing to change Senate rules to help his party push through much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
“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. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette.
Manchin’s opposition to federal voting legislation and changing filibuster rules stands as a major roadblock to Biden’s legislative priorities, as current rules allow Republicans to hold up many of the progressive bills the administration supports.
The West Virginia Democrat argued that Democrats who want to abolish the filibuster should be careful what they wish for, noting how then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s move in 2013 to remove the 60-vote filibuster standard for presidential nominees other than those on the Supreme Court — a change that eventually allowed Republicans to install a conservative majority on the high court.
Manchin has remained a key holdup to the For the People Act for months. He is the only Democratic senator not listed as a cosponsor on the bill.
While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he plans to bring the bill to the floor the week of June 21, the legislation is expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to pass as it currently has no Republican support.