Manchin will not support Democrats' voting rights bill, he says in op-ed

www.chron.com
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fairly difficult
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Sunday said he would not support federal voting rights...
legislation that his party has argued is critical for preserving democracy, in an announcement that effectively turned the path ahead for all other major items on President Joe Biden's agenda into quicksand.

In an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin said he thought the For the People Act - which Democrats say is needed to secure free and fair elections and protect against GOP-led efforts to restrict voting at the state level, often disproportionately affecting voters of color - was too partisan.

"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," Manchin wrote.

Manchin also defended the filibuster and said he would "not vote to weaken or eliminate" the Senate rule that requires 60 votes for most legislation to pass, all but guaranteeing that any legislation opposed by even a small number of Senate Republicans will fail.

"Some in my party have argued that now is the time to discard such bipartisan voting reforms and embrace election reforms and policies solely supported by one party. Respectfully, I do not agree," Manchin wrote. "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."

Manchin's op-ed is consistent with his past statements, but it comes as Biden has intensified his rhetoric against Republican-led efforts to restrict voter access at the state level, calling it "un-American" and "an assault on democracy." It also serves as a warning to his Democratic colleagues that Manchin will not bend despite the increased pressure the West Virginian has faced in recent weeks to drop his demands for bipartisan deals at a time when few seem possible.

In a speech last week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, Biden made clear that June should…
Amy B Wang
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