West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, one of the Senate’s two moderate Democrats, expressed his support for the filibuster, doubling down even as President Joe Biden heads to Georgia to publicly push for a change to Senate rules.
“We need some good rules changes to make the place work better. But getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better,” Manchin told reporters.
“We need some good rules changes. We can do that together. But you change the rules with two thirds of the people that are present so… Democrats, Republicans changing the rules to make the place work better. Getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better,” he said.
President Biden has previously announced his support for amending Senate rules and changing the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
“That means whatever it takes. Change the Senate rules to accommodate major pieces of legislation without requiring 60 votes,” Biden said last month in an interview with ABC News’ David Muir.
“The only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making an exception on voting rights of the filibuster,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has made clear that the Senate would “consider changes to any rules which prevent us from debating and reaching final conclusion on important legislation,” including voting rights legislation, reigniting debates on whether or not to abolish the filibuster.
Schumer has invited Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, professors and the authors of the book “How Democracies Die,” to present to Democrats their research and to stress the importance of passing voting rights legislation.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.