Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends:
The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .
H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting.
Georgia Democratic rockstars Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock have both made major reversals on their feelings about voter identification, flips that could signal shifting Democratic priorities about voter ID as the Senate considers a sweeping voting bill that could include identification measures.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin this week proposed several additions to the controversial For the People Act, a bill that, if passed, would allow Congress to exert significant control over most U.S. elections.
Among the measures Manchin has suggested are voter ID rules, which would require identification at the polls but would allow voters to use a variety of documents to prove their identity.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., declared Sunday he will oppose his party’s legislation to federalize how elections are conducted, dealing a severe blow to Democratic passage in the evenly divided Senate.
The For The People Act would among other things ban voter ID requirements, mandate mail-in voting options and begin registering voters at age 16. It has faced uniform Republican opposition.
In an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin declared the bill as too partisan and divisive.
On April 7, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) penned an oped for the Washington Post entitled, “I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” appearing to foreclose any possibility of President Joe Biden ramming through major changes to law on a slim partisan basis expanding the Supreme Court, nationalizing election law, expanding statehood to D.C. or Puerto Rico, and so forth.
“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government. That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote, appearing to salvage the nation’s two-party system — for now.
But not so fast, say House Democrats, who last week unveiled a plan to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices, the Judiciary Act of 2021.