Joe Manchin slammed for saying he won't vote to 'eliminate filibuster', Internet says he's 'choosing Jim Crow'
The West Virginia Democratic senator has been found to be one of the party's squeakiest wheels after Joe Biden took over as the president
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who is known to be a swing vote, on Wednesday, April 7, said there is “no circumstance” under which he would vote to eliminate the filibuster, thus likely shattering hopes for some of President Joe Biden’s ambitious legislative measures.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Manchin wrote: “The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government. The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation. 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.”
Filibuster key factor in current Senate
The filibuster has become a crucial factor in the current Senate where both the major parties have 50 representatives but the Democrats hold the edge owing to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. The filibuster needs 60 votes to pass most legislation in the State, which means the votes of all the Democratic senators and 10 from the GOP are required to pass any major policy.
Manchin, who has been serving as a senator since 2010, also spoke out against budget reconciliation as the Democrats were trying to pass the president’s massive infrastructure plan amid resistance from the Republicans. “We should all be alarmed at how the budget reconciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle debate around the major issues facing our country today,” the 73-year-old lawmaker wrote. “Legislating was never supposed to be easy. It is hard work to address the needs of both rural and urban communities in a single piece of legislation, but it is the work we were elected to do.”
The veteran senator also cited his own voting record as a member of the upper chamber. In 2013, he voted against the charge by fellow Democrat and former Senate majority leader Harry Reid to get rid of the filibuster for Cabinet-level nominees and federal judges. Four years ago, Manchin was in the headlines for voting against a proposal by then-Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to lower the threshold to settle the debate on Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority. Manchin wrote in his op-ed: “Every time the Senate voted to weaken the filibuster in the past decade, the political dysfunction and gridlock have grown more severe. The political games playing out in the halls of Congress only fuel the hateful rhetoric and violence we see across our country right now.”
Manchin’s op-ed came after he said on Monday that President Biden’s plan to pay for infrastructure by raising the corporate tax to 28 percent was a nonstarter.
Manchin’s fellow Arizona Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema also said that she opposes eliminating the filibuster. Biden expressed his keenness to reform the filibuster, calling it a relic of the Jim Crow era. He said he would back a rule shift that would mandate the lawmakers to physically stand on the Senate floor and converse.
'US Senate is so broken'
Manchin’s stance saw a wide reaction on social media. Comedian and political thought leader Tim Young tweeted: “Joe Manchin is a no on eliminating the filibuster. Good. Biden will accomplish nothing.” Briahna Joy Gray, former national press secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2020 presidential campaign, tweeted: “Joe Manchin is the "uh, ask your mother" of politics.”
Joe Manchin is a no on eliminating the filibuster. Good.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 8, 2021
Biden will accomplish nothing.
Joe Manchin is the "uh, ask your mother" of politics. https://t.co/F0wNHUzVf0— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) April 8, 2021
Journalist Jordan Chariton of progressive media outlet Status Coup said on Twitter: “Joe Manchin’s idea of “ushering in a new era of bipartisanship” is the backroom of the cigar parlor with execs from Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, and big coal.” California-based writer and activist and elected DNC member David Atkins tweeted: “Joe Manchin has a choice between the reforming the filibuster and the new Jim Crow. He is choosing Jim Crow.”
Joe Manchin's idea of "ushering in a new era of bipartisanship" is the backroom of the cigar parlor with execs from Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, and big coal https://t.co/OiKSLdh807— Jordan (@JordanChariton) April 8, 2021
Joe Manchin has a choice between the reforming the filibuster and the new Jim Crow. He is choosing Jim Crow.— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) April 8, 2021
Writer Ari Berman said: “Joe Manchin represents a state that is 1/22 the population of California & 92% white yet he can singlehandedly block policies supported by 70-80% of Americans. This is why the US Senate is so broken”.
Joe Manchin represents a state that is 1/22 the population of California & 92% white yet he can singlehandedly block policies supported by 70-80% of Americans. This is why the US Senate is so broken— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) April 8, 2021