“There are no circumstances in which I would vote to remove or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote. “The time has come to end these political games and usher in a new era of bipartisanship, in which we find common ground in the great political debates facing our nation.”
Even with all 50 Democrats agreeing, most legislatures require 60 votes to stop a filibuster. Democrats argue that while the filibuster was used sparingly in the past, it is now used to alleviating any issue where there is biased disagreement.
A few weeks ago, Manchin flirted with being open to talks about changes in the filibuster, but as ideas floated, such as forcing senators to stay on the senate floor and talk while blocking legislation, he slammed each one down.
“Every time the Senate voted to weaken the filibuster in the last decade, political dysfunction and gridlock have become more serious,” he wrote on Wednesday. “The political games that are taking place in the halls of Congress are only promoting the hateful rhetoric and violence we are seeing all over our country right now. The truth is, my Democratic friends do not have all the answers, and neither do my Republican friends. This has always been the case. ”
As the most conservative Senate Democrat, Manchin has an oversized role in an evenly divided Senate, where Democrats lacking Republican support need Manchin to get anything passed. Another Conservative Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona, has also said she is opposed to getting rid of the filibuster.
The momentum to get rid of the filibuster has been building in recent months with senators who were once against jettisoning the Senate rule now saying it’s time to scrape what former President Obama has called a “Jim Crow relic.”
Much of the current attention to change Senate rules is about sweeping legislation to review the nation’s voting law, which Democrats have portrayed as a way to combat voter oppression and make it easier to vote. But Republicans have called it a grip on power, and there is currently little chance of a bipartisan agreement on changes to the vote.
In his op-ed statement, Manchin made it clear that he does not agree with any of his colleagues that it is worth getting rid of filibusters to get legislation on voting passed.
“Our ultimate goal should be to restore the two – party belief in our voting process by assuring all Americans that their votes will be counted, secured and protected,” he wrote.
Democrats used the budget voting process to pass Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion covid relief bill, which Manchin supported, and see it as a means of additional spending and tax proposals on a number of issues. But Manchin threw cold water at this idea in his op-ed thought he was not final as to whether he would support its use again this year.
“We should all be concerned about how the budget conciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle the debate over the major problems facing our country today. Legislation should never be easy, “he wrote, adding:” I simply do not believe that budget voting should replace regular order in the Senate. ”