Politics As his voting rights proposal stalls, will Joe Manchin's dreams of bipartisanship ever come true?

21:15  18 june  2021
21:15  18 june  2021 Source:   news.yahoo.com

Manchin's staunch opposition to ending filibuster may imperil Biden's agenda, including infrastructure

  Manchin's staunch opposition to ending filibuster may imperil Biden's agenda, including infrastructure Manchin dashed hopes on the left that recent events might compel him to reconsider his support for keeping the Senate's 60-vote rule to pass bills.The moderate Democrat, in a Sunday op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, not only revealed his opposition to the Democratic-backed For the People Act but reiterated he won't vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.

Sen. Joe Manchin’s latest attempt at bipartisanship — a compromise on voting rights legislation — has again received a cold shoulder from the Republicans he’s attempting to win over.

This week, the West Virginia Democrat circulated a three-page memo outlining his proposal for a bill that would eliminate partisan gerrymandering and increase early voting but would also require voter ID, a favorite provision of the GOP. Manchin wrote last month that he felt “that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy.”

Manchin has repeatedly touted the importance of bipartisanship, whether it’s tied to COVID-19 relief, infrastructure, voting rights or a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He’s refused to support the abolition of the legislative filibuster, which would allow bills to pass with just 50 votes in the Senate. (Manchin is not the only Democrat who opposes the filibuster’s removal, but he and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema take most of the fire from frustrated party members.)

Inside Biden and Manchin's Joemance

  Inside Biden and Manchin's Joemance Democratic senators say that only the president can convince the influential centrist to sign off on key parts of the party's agenda.Four months after Biden helped secure Manchin’s vote for a party-line, $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law, the president is taking a different approach with the West Virginia Democrat who's blocking multiple party priorities. Biden didn't sound pleased last week when, during a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre, he appeared to take a public swipe at Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) by citing two Democrats who frequently sided with Republicans.

a close up of a man wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Sen. Joe Manchin. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News Sen. Joe Manchin. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Manchin is in a unique position as a Democrat representing a state where Republicans won presidential and Senate races by 40 points in 2020.

However, evidence continues to mount that the bipartisan cooperation Manchin is seeking just isn’t there.

Republicans have praised Manchin for his position on the filibuster, with Kansas GOP Sen. Roger Marshall going so far as to say he’d mow his colleague’s lawn if he doesn’t budge on the issue. But through their actions and statements, Republicans continue to tell Manchin they have little interest in crossing the aisle.

Last month, Manchin said he wouldn’t remove the filibuster in order to advance a commission to investigate the violence of Jan. 6, telling reporters, "I think we'll come together. You have to have faith there's 10 good people.” But only six Republicans voted for the bill, which meant it couldn’t advance further toward becoming law. After the vote, Manchin released a statement in which he said there was "no excuse" for any Republican to vote against the commission, and said they continued "to live in fear."

The Democratic Senators Hiding Behind Joe Manchin

  The Democratic Senators Hiding Behind Joe Manchin It was March 5, right before the Senate’s doomed vote to raise the minimum wage to $15, and, as usual, Sen. Joe Manchin was the center of attention. But there was no need for reporters to swarm the West Virginia moderate. On that day, he was far from the only Democrat who’d give the thumbs-down to a progressive priority. Seven other Democratic senators would vote the same way—and draw far less recognition or criticism. That tally surprisedBut there was no need for reporters to swarm the West Virginia moderate. On that day, he was far from the only Democrat who’d give the thumbs-down to a progressive priority. Seven other Democratic senators would vote the same way—and draw far less recognition or criticism.

Republicans also refused to offer a single vote in favor of the American Rescue Plan, a pandemic relief package that was supported by more than 70 percent of Americans in some polls. As the process moved along, Manchin said he wanted to the bill to “be bipartisan. If they think we're going to throw all caution to the wind and just shove it down people's throats, that's not going to happen." Democrats ended up passing the bill with just 50 votes in the Senate, using the process of budget reconciliation, a tactic they’re considering for President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill as Manchin and others attempt to hammer out a bipartisan alternative.

Republican leaders in the Senate have been clear that their priority is blocking Biden’s agenda. Last month, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his focus was on “stopping” the White House. Last week, the No. 3 Senate Republican, John Barrasso of Wyoming, said his goal was to make Biden a “one-half-term president” by taking control of Congress in the midterms. Meanwhile, polls have repeatedly shown that most Republicans believe the 2020 election was illegitimate, repeating the baseless claims made frequently by former President Donald Trump.

Republicans in the States Are Proving Joe Manchin Wrong

  Republicans in the States Are Proving Joe Manchin Wrong Red states continue to be a harbinger of what’s to come at the federal level.In places such as Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, and Montana, the most restrictive laws approved this year have passed on total or near-complete party-line votes, with almost all state legislative Republicans voting for the bills and nearly all Democrats uniting against them, according to an analysis of state voting records provided exclusively to The Atlantic by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU.

Mitch McConnell wearing a suit and tie: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

A few Republicans have signed onto a smaller infrastructure plan, but Politico reported it was with the intention of frustrating the White House’s larger agenda. A number of Democratic senators have already said they will not support the bill due to its lack of provisions tied to fighting climate change.

In an attempt to prove that bipartisanship can still work, Manchin has put the work in behind the scenes to get Republicans on board. In audio leaked to the Intercept, Manchin told donors Monday that they should attempt to sway Sen. Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican who’s retiring at the end of his current term, to vote for the Jan. 6 commission because it would remove one of the biggest arguments against the filibuster.

“Roy Blunt is a great, just a good friend of mine, a great guy,” Manchin said. “Roy is retiring. If some of you all who might be working with Roy in his next life could tell him, that’d be nice and it’d help our country. That would be very good to get him to change his vote.

Joe Manchin's Game | Opinion

  Joe Manchin's Game | Opinion It's time to take to the field, and challenge Senator Joe Manchin's machine head on.Unlike the vast majority of their constituents, U.S. senators don't have to worry about medical bills or food or their next paycheck. For them, politics really is just a game.

“What I’m asking for, I need to go back, I need to find three more Republican, good Republican senators that will vote for the commission,” Manchin continued. “So at least we can tamp down where people say, ‘Well, Republicans won’t even do the simple lift, common sense of basically voting to do a commission that was truly bipartisan.’ It just really emboldens the far left saying, ‘I told you, how’s that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?’”

The courting of Blunt is yet to prove fruitful. On Thursday morning, Manchin’s voting rights plan got the endorsement of Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat and voting rights activist who has become a favorite target of right-wing politicians and media outlets. Republicans were quick to use Abrams’s support of the plan to portray it as radical.

a young man wearing a hat and smiling at the camera: Stacey Abrams. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters) © Provided by Yahoo! News Stacey Abrams. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

“I think when Stacey Abrams immediately endorsed Sen. Manchin’s proposal, it immediately became the Stacey Abrams substitute, not the Joe Manchin substitute,” Blunt said Thursday.

McConnell echoed that assessment. "In reality, the plan endorsed by Stacey Abrams is no compromise," he said.

A number of GOP-controlled states across the country have pushed laws that reduce voting hours and make it more difficult to vote by mail, among other restrictions. A report last week also warned that some state legislatures are looking to make it easier to change election results.

Joe Manchin’s sweeping new voting rights proposal, explained

  Joe Manchin’s sweeping new voting rights proposal, explained The pivotal senator has released a potentially transformative plan to promote fair elections.But on Wednesday, Manchin did something unexpected: He released a long list of voting reforms that he does support, potentially scrambling the congressional debate over voting rights as the Senate prepares to vote on Democratic leaders’ proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is among the many Democrats skeptical that Manchin will be able to reach a bipartisan deal on substantive voter protections, noting that GOP state legislatures tend to pass their voting bills along party-line votes.

“The idea that this can have some kind of bipartisan solution befuddles me, because every action taken in the legislatures is done just with Republican state senators, Republican assembly members, with no Democratic participation or input,” Schumer said Wednesday.


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Voting rights bill poised for Senate action while Republicans remain opposed, Manchin offers compromise .
The For the People Act, a sweeping voting rights bill, faces stiff opposition from Republicans.Democrats hailed the For the People Act – a sweeping bill aimed at protecting voters' rights, increasing election security and mandating independent redistricting, among other provisions – as a bold countermeasure to restrictive voting measures pursued in states. Republicans slammed the legislation as overreaching, arguing elections should be left to the states, not the federal government.

usr: 0
This is interesting!