Senator Joe Manchin Nixes Idea of Going Around Filibuster, Even for Voting Reform (And Persily to Edsall on This)

From a WaPo oped, “I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster:”

There is also bipartisan support for voting reform and many of the initiatives outlined in the For the People Act. Our ultimate goal should be to restore bipartisan faith in our voting process by assuring all Americans that their votes will be counted, secured and protected. Efforts to expand voting hours and access, improve our election security and increase transparency in campaign finance and advertisement rules should and do have broad, bipartisan support and would quickly address the needs facing Americans today. Taking bipartisan action on voting reform would go a long way in restoring the American people’s faith in Congress and our ability to deliver results for them.

It’s very hard to see where there could be 60 votes in the Senate right now for any package of election reform that would be meaningful.

Here’s what Nate Persily told Tom Edsall:

Along parallel lines, Nate Persily, a law professor at Stanford, emailed his view that

The next two years may be the last chance for the Democrats (and the country) to pass significant election reform. The filibuster stands in the way. Declaring that only voting policy that can attract 60 votes should be passed, is tantamount to saying that no voting reform should be passed.

Inaction by the federal government “will necessarily lead to greater divergence among the states,” Persily continued:

One set of states will codify the accommodations that were made to deal with the pandemic and to make voting more accessible. Another set of states will make voting more difficult in the name of election integrity but in service to the Big Lie that the 2020 election was marred by fraud.

Despite the logic of these claims, Manchin — who has held statewide office in West Virginia for the past 20 years and is also the last Democrat to hold statewide office at all — could emerge, at least momentarily, as a hero to fellow liberals across the country. But joining forces with fellow Democrats has the earmarks of political suicide

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