Rising crackdowns in the ranks of Democrats were evident Monday because of the West Virginia senator’s public opposition to the People Act, a massive vote to protect the voting rights that Republicans have attacked in many states – and his stance against dropping the filibuster.
The Philibuster is the rule that the Senate minority, now Republicans, has the power to thwart the will of the majority over most legislation.
Manchin is a centrist Democrat, but a progressive congressman called him the “new Mitch McConnell” to help the Republican Senate leader in his quest to halt progress on the Democrats’ agenda at all costs.
In a column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday, Manchin said he opposed the People’s Act or HR1, which currently has no Republican support in the Senate, because “party vote legislation will destroy the already weakening ties of our democracy.”
He also reaffirmed his support for the filibuster, which needs 60 votes to pass most legislation. The Senate is divided 50-50 between the two parties and is controlled by Democrats only through the vote of Kamala Harris as vice president.
Anger at Manchin’s position was particularly fierce among African Americans, a key constituency that gave Democrats control of the White House and Congress, and subsequently a key goal of Republican efforts to restrict access to ballots in Florida, Georgia, Texas and elsewhere. .
Monder Jones, a congressman from New York, mentioned the era of racial segregation in the southern United States when he said, “Manchin’s cameraman could also be titled, ‘Why Will I Vote to Keep Jim Crow.’
Writer Jamel Hill said: “This is such a popular brand for this country. A record number of black voters are appearing to save this democracy, only for white supremacy to be backed by a cowardly, power-hungry white dude. Joe Manchin is a clown. “
Speaking to CNN on Monday, Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York called Manchin “the new Mitch McConnell.”
– Mitch McConnell during [Barack] “The Obama presidency has said it will do everything in its power to stop Obama,” he said.
“He also reiterated that now, during Biden’s presidency, he said he would do everything in his power to stop President Biden. And now Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy and stop our work for the people, this work that the people have sent us here. “
Manchin has actually voted with Biden most of the time so far, and said he supports the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which will restore the voting protection gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.
Asked if it was fair to attack Manchin so harshly, Bowman said: “HR1 is popular in West Virginia and across the country. Over 65% of Americans support HR1 and over 50% of Republicans support HR1.
“The American people sent us to Washington to do the work. Just a few weeks ago, we had a bipartisan piece of legislation that wanted to form a commission to study the January 6 uprising, the first attack on our Capitol since the war of 1812. It was a bipartisan piece of legislation that it did not pass. Why? Because of the filibuster and because most Republicans are much more focused on obstacles. “
A study by the Center for American Progress found that Republicans used it approximately twice as often as Democrats to stop legislation.
Chuck Schumer, the leader of the majority in the Senate and a Democrat from New York, said he would present the People for Voting Act this month. At the start of the new legislative session on Monday, he called on Democrats to stick together.
“I want to know that the next few weeks will be difficult and we will experience our determination as a congress and conference,” Schumer wrote to his colleagues, as Hill reported. “The American people have given us a Democratic Senate to take big and bold action on the major issues we are facing. And we will do that. “
As the influential Punchbowl News said Monday morning: “Any legislative strategy that includes discarding the filibuster and subsequently passing a bill will fail. It is clear. If you don’t understand it by now, we don’t know how to help you. “
Unlike his centrist colleague and supporter of the Filibuster, Arizona Sen. Kirsten Cinema, Manchin voted for the Jan. 6 commission to investigate an event that Donald Trump incited in the service of his lie that the 2020 election was “stolen.” and he won, not Joe Biden.
On Monday, Trump backed Manchin in support of the treasure, telling Fox Business: “This is a very important thing. Otherwise, you will pack up the courts, you will do all sorts of very bad things that were unthinkable. “
The former president’s words were not without accompanying irony.
In July 2017, facing the failure of attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump tweeted against the filibuster rule: “The Republican Senate must get rid of 60 votes NOW! He kills the R party, allowing 8 Dems to control the state. 200 bills sit in the Senate. JOKE! “
McConnell, then the leader of the Senate majority, refused to resign. Now that he is the minority leader in the Senate, McConnell is still motionless.