Politics Manchin Says He’s Open to at Least Some Filibuster Reform
Progressives find a villain after minimum wage defeat: the filibuster
Progressives are channeling their energy into a renewed push to kill the filibuster. © Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images “So if that $15 minimum wage isn’t in this package, we are going to have to figure out a way to get it through. And if that means reforming the filibuster, then we should reform the filibuster," Rep. Pramila Jayapal said. One day after the Senate parliamentarian effectively forced a $15 minimum wage hike out of Democrats' coronavirus relief package, leading liberal activists are racing to turn their bitter setback into opportunity.
(Bloomberg) -- Senator Joe Manchin opened the door Sunday to reforming the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass most bills in the Senate, possibly by making it harder to invoke the maneuver. That could mean requiring opposition members to actually speak on the floor for the duration of the filibuster.
Still, the West Virginia Democrat repeated his opposition to eliminating the maneuver, as some of his colleagues have urged.
“The filibuster should be painful,” Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday,” one of four network interviews he did a day after voting for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package.
How Joe Biden's Gun Control Plan Compares to Joe Manchin's Views
Manchin received a 'D' rating from the NRA during his 2018 campaign and the gun rights group endorsed his opponent.A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing forward a bill that would require background checks for all gun purchases. The same bill was staled in the Senate in 2019.
“It really should be painful, and we’ve made it more comfortable over the years,” Manchin said of invoking the filibuster to slow legislation. “Maybe it has to be more painful, maybe you have to stand there. There’s things we can talk about.”
Joe Manchin, center, speaks to members of the media at the U.S. Capitol on March 5.
Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Making the filibuster more difficult to use would encourage Democrats and Republicans to work together more, Manchin suggested.
Some Democrats have pushed to eliminate the filibuster to advance more of President Joe Biden’s agenda on party-line votes now that the Senate is split 50-50 and Democrats have Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.
The last minute federal unemployment insurance compromise, briefly explained
Joe Manchin singlehandedly pared back federal unemployment benefits in the new Covid relief package.Under the new plan, expanded federal unemployment benefits, which supplement state unemployment payments and are set to expire in mid-March — would be renewed at $300 per week through the first week of September. The first $10,200 of benefits will also be non-taxable under a $150,000 income threshold.
Democrats used a budget reconciliation process to muscle through the Covid relief bill on Saturday with just 50 votes.
The limits of that approach became apparent when a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian in February forced the removal of a provision that would have increased the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Manchin has long resisted calls to eliminate the filibuster, and stood firm in that stance Sunday.
“I’d make it harder to get rid of,” he said. “I’m supporting the filibuster. It’s part of who we are as a Senate. But it should be painful if you want to use it.“
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Anti-filibuster liberals face a Senate math problem .
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) clarified on Tuesday that he continues to support an effective 60-vote requirement for most legislation. He thinks either the majority needs to come up with 60 votes to overcome a filibuster or the minority to come up with 41 votes to sustain it. And he acknowledged the touchy status of the filibuster in his own party. “Jiminy Christmas, buddy. That’s why I even hate to say anything to you," Manchin said in a Tuesday interview.“I want to make it very clear to everybody: There's no way that I would vote to prevent the minority from having input into the process in the Senate.