Joe Manchin, the main swing vote in the U.S. Senate, to oppose a bill that would expand access to the vote and is supported by Democrats.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a crucial casting vote in the U.S. Senate, announced Sunday that he intends to oppose a comprehensive bill on voting rights, backed by the U.S. Senate. majority of his fellow Democrats, which would expand access to voting throughout the United States.
Speaking to Fox News Sunday, Manchin said the bill, known as the For the People Act, “is the wrong legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I’m not supporting it because I think that will divide us more ”.
Manchin is key to control of the U.S. Senate, which is divided equally between Democrats and Republicans. At times, he has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Biden administration by crossing party lines to oppose legislation or block those appointed to the White House.
He has also continually opposed efforts to eliminate the filibuster, which will facilitate the passage of legislation by Democrats.
Manchin’s intention to oppose the voting rights bill if taken to the Senate floor will complicate matters for Democratic majority leader Chuck Schumer, who has pledged to push through legislation despite not have no support from Republicans.
The bill would require states to extend postal voting, which was widely used in last year’s presidential election due to the coronavirus pandemic, and would also extend face-to-face voting hours.
Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, a major sponsor of the For For People Act, said in a statement that he is disappointed with Manchin’s position, but that he would not give up.
“I am open to any conversation about the provisions of this bill and I will not give up on American democracy,” he said.
Since then, Republican-controlled state legislatures in places like Texas and Georgia have tried hard to do so. reduce email voting, as former President Donald Trump has continued to make false claims that stole the 2020 election.
Manchin set out in more detail his opposition to the voting rights bill in a publication published Sunday in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, saying he is concerned about the total lack of Republican support for the measure.
“The partisan voting and electoral reform will ensure, however, that party divisions will continue to deepen,” he wrote.
Manchin said he would give his support behind an alternative voting bill that has received broader bipartisan support, called John Lewis’s Advancement of Voting Rights Act.
With the name of late Congressman John Lewis, the bill would restore the need for certain states and counties to receive federal government approval before redrawing constituencies, a legal requirement that was overturned by the Supreme Court. United States at its 2013 landmark in Shelby County. v. Decision of the holder.
“My fellow Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski, has joined me in urging the Senate leadership to update and pass this bill on a regular basis,” he wrote.
He also attacked Democrats for trying to eliminate the filibuster, saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
“What I have seen during my stay in Washington is that all parties in power will always want to exercise absolute power, absolutely. Our founders were smart at seeing the temptation of absolute power and incorporated specific controls and balances to force a commitment that serves to preserve our fragile democracy, ”he wrote.