Politics

Manchin Doubles Down On Filibuster Ahead Of Biden’s Speech 

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) doubled down Tuesday on his support for the filibuster as President Biden heads to Georgia to publicly push for changes to the Senate rule in order to pass voting rights legislation.

“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.

Given support from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) for the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most bills to advance in the Senate, Democrats acknowledge that getting rid of it altogether isn’t on the table.

Instead, they are discussing smaller changes including moving to a talking filibuster, where opponents could delay the bill for as long as they could hold the floor but legislation would ultimately be able to pass with a simple majority. They are also mulling a carveout that would exempt voting rights legislation from needing 60 votes. 

Democrats are also discussing smaller changes, including shifting from needing 60 votes to break a filibuster to needing 41 votes to sustain it or getting rid of the 60-vote hurdle currently required for starting debate while keeping it in place for ending debate.

But Republicans aren’t expected to support any of those rules changes, meaning Democrats would need to use the “nuclear option” that lets them change the rules via a simple majority. 

Manchin hasn’t endorsed a rules change option and, in a potentially bigger hurdle for Democrats, he has long opposed changing the rules through the nuclear option.

He added on Tuesday that the rules should be changed by two-thirds of the Senate, referring to the 67 votes needed to change rules outside of th… (Read more)

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