Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends:
The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .
H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting.
On April 7, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) penned an oped for the Washington Post entitled, “I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” appearing to foreclose any possibility of President Joe Biden ramming through major changes to law on a slim partisan basis expanding the Supreme Court, nationalizing election law, expanding statehood to D.C. or Puerto Rico, and so forth.
“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government. That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote, appearing to salvage the nation’s two-party system — for now.
But not so fast, say House Democrats, who last week unveiled a plan to expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices, the Judiciary Act of 2021.