“What Don’t You Understand About Never?”: Manchin Refuses to Budge on Filibuster
Shortly after President Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election and a battle was raging for control of the Senate in Georgia, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin vowed not to support any Democratic efforts to end the legislative filibuster.
The moderate Democratic Senator’s commitment to that promise has not waivered, even as Democrats have renewed calls to put an end to the procedure amid GOP resistance to Biden’s agenda.
From Fox News:
“Never!” he told Fox News’ Jason Donner. “Jesus Christ, what don’t you understand about never?”
Earlier this year, Manchin told the Washington Post, “I will not vote to bust the filibuster under any condition, on anything that you can think of.” He was joined by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has said that she is not open to “changing her mind.”
Manchin’s stance on the filibuster all but assures Democrats will not be able to end the procedure. With a 50-50 Senate split and universal GOP opposition, Democrats would need every member of their caucus as well as a tie breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris to approve.
Even if Manchin were to shockingingly change his mind, Democrats would still have to convince Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
With two Democrats in opposition, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has had more leverage in negotiations with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer:
“Today two Democratic Senators publicly confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster,” McConnell said at the time. “They agree with President Biden’s and my view that no Senate majority should destroy the right of future minorities of both parties to help shape legislation.”
The effects of not ending the filibuster have already been felt by Democrats, who have not had enough Republican support to pass Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
Democrats have instead resorted to using budget reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority, to pass the legislation. However, that procedure will likely mean Democrats will not be able to include a raise to the minimum wage in the bill.
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