Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia surprised his Democratic colleagues on Sunday by announcing that he will vote against the For the People Act.
Democratic lawmakers are pushing a wide election reform package that Manchin thinks is “too broad and politicized.”
He believes that putting it through the reconciliation process will exacerbate the Senate’s divides.
Senator Manchin announced his opposition to the For the People Act in an op-ed in the local Charleston Gazette-Mail:
“Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. … I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act.”
“I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”
Oh, no! That was a pleasant Sunday surprise.
Manchin ended his op-ed with a rallying cry for cooperation:
American democracy is unique; it is larger than one political party or the current partisan attack politics based on tweets. It is my genuine desire that all of us, particularly those of us who have the honor of serving, remember our responsibility to do more to bring this country together before it is too late.
Could Manchin be sending a message to his Democratic colleagues that they’ve gone too far?
This morning, Manchin chatted with FOX News political hack Chris Wallace:
“Voting is the bedrock of our democracy. Open, fair, secured voting. We used to go around the world and explain and show and observe voting procedures in a democracy. And now if we can’t practice what we preach, we are going to basically do an overhaul, an 800-page overhaul of the voting rights.”