Jun 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Manchin says he won't vote for Democrats' sweeping election reform bill

Joe Manchin.

Sen. Joe Manchin. Photo: Michael Swensen/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) wrote in a Charleston Gazette-Mail op-ed Sunday that he will not support congressional Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill, suggesting the measure is partisan.

Why it matters: Manchin's opposition to H.R. 1, known as the For the People Act, puts the bill in tenuous footing in the evenly split Senate. The West Virginia senator said any elections-related legislation should be the result of both parties coming together.

  • “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening blinds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For The People Act," Manchin wrote.
  • "The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen."

Flashback: The House passed the For the People Act in a 220-210 in March with no Republican support, it now awaits a vote in the Senate.

  • The bill's reforms include allowing voters to register securely online or on Election Day, and preventing voter purges from registration records. It would also restore voting rights for felons, expand early and absentee voting and set national standards for early voting and registration.

Manchin said he would support another reform bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would effectively reinstate key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.

  • "I continue to engage with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about the value of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and I am encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights."

Worth noting: Manchin reiterated that he won't support eliminating the fillibuster, and said some Democrats have tried "to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past."

Go deeper: Progressive groups press Senate Democrats to abolish filibuster

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