Dec 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Manchin signals he's against changing filibuster to pass voting rights bill


Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) signaled Sunday that he is not in favor of reforming the filibuster to provide a clear pathway for Senate Democrats to pass voting rights and election reform legislation.

Why it matters: Manchin's remarks on "Fox News Sunday" come after several failed attempts by Democrats to pass voting bills in the gridlocked Senate.

  • The West Virginian Democrat has repeatedly refused to eliminate the filibuster. Unless Democrats suspend or change the rule, however, they will likely remain unable to pass voting legislation.
  • Manchin reiterated that voting is "the bedrock of democracy" and should not be a partisan issue, adding that the Senate "should be working on that together."

The backdrop: The House has passed voting rights and election reform bills, but the legislation has been stuck in the Senate for months, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.

What they're saying: In the Senate's history, "there's been rule changes, but there's never been a change with a filibuster, the rights of the minority," Manchin told Fox host Bret Baier.

  • "I made no commitments or promises on that," he said, speaking about the filibuster. "I am working on trying to make the Senate work better, bringing bills to the floor, amending them having debates understanding, being transparent to the public."

The big picture: Manchin also said Sunday on "Fox News Sunday" that will not support President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, all but guaranteeing the end of the $1.75 trillion spending package that is the centerpiece of the Biden agenda.

Go deeper: Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

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