Joe Manchin sees ‘no use’ in holding a vote on voting rights that is almost certain to fail — thanks in part to him
Brent D. Griffiths January 19, 2022
- Joe Manchin wants to avoid an expected vote that will divide the Democratic Party.
- Manchin still wants his party to continue to work on voting rights.
- Top party leaders have brushed off efforts to delay a vote.
Sen. Joe Manchin said that he doesn’t see the point of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer forcing a vote later Wednesday on the party’s major voting rights proposals given that they are virtually destined to fail, thanks in part to his stance.
“I would like to see us stay on the bill. There’s no use to try to bring this to finality by having a vote that’s going to fail tonight,” Manchin of West Virginia told CNN’s Manu Raju ahead of a pivotal day for Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to force a vote that weakens the Senate’s filibuster after Republicans blocked the party from passing voting rights legislation. Democrats, including Manchin, are united behind the party’s two bills but Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are steadfast in opposition to changing filibuster rules.
Republicans are expected to block Democrats from passing their legislation. Schumer is then expected to force senators to consider changing the filibuster, the de-facto 60-vote threshold for most legislation, but due to Manchin and Sinema’s opposition that effort will also fail.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Schumer’s expected moves a “sad spectacle.” Schumer and President Joe Biden have repeatedly said the party’s voting rights proposals are about the continuation of the American experiment itself. Schumer has stressed that it is important for all senators, including his fellow Democrats, to put their views on the record.
Manchin told CNN that he will also speak on the Senate floor later today. On Tuesday night, Manchin emphatically declared that he would oppose any changes to the filibuster even if it led to a future primary challenger.
Top party leaders are also eager to move on to other topics. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chair of the House Democratic caucus, told reporters that Senate Democrats will soon return to Biden’s massive spending plan known as Build Back Better.
Staff writer Grace Panetta contributed to this report.