Sen. Manchin Earns Wrath of Fellow Dems for Not Supporting 'For the People Act' (Getty Images)
By Jim Thomas | Tuesday, 08 June 2021 04:20 PM
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is under fire from fellow Democrats after he recently announced his opposition to their election reform bill, known as the “For the People Act,” reported Fox News.
"It's the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I'm not supporting that because I think it would divide us more. I don't want to be in a country that's divided any further," Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday."
His open defiance of party directives has earned the wrath of the most liberal members of Congress.
"I understand the frustrations," Manchin said. "Ya know, this is a tough business we're in."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., accused the moderate senator of backing GOP "voter suppression."
Rep. Mondaire Jones, said Manchin is trying to "preserve Jim Crow."
A third New York liberal, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., called Manchin the "new Mitch McConnell."
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., a former Black Lives Matter activist, said Manchin should just fall in line with the rest of his party "or get out of our way."
Manchin has been a rock in the shoe of democratic progressives for his refusal to eliminate the filibuster, which would allow Democrats to pass legislation in the Senate with a simple majority.
Eliminating the filibuster would assist progressives in their quest to push through an ambitious agenda – including D.C. statehood, voting rights, gun control and police reform – while Democrats have control of all three branches of government.
Manchin's opposition to the “For the People Act” – numbered S.1 to signify it is the No. 1 priority for Democrats – means the legislation is doomed since it requires united Democratic support in the Senate to successfully advance.
Democrats viewed the Act as the antithesis to the GOP imposed stricter state-level voting rules enacted since former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election amid claims of voter fraud.
The “For the People Act” attempts to set up a new public financing system for congressional and presidential elections to incentivize small-dollar donations, as well as enacting automatic voter registration, restoring voting rights to felons after they have completed their sentences, mandating same-day voter registration, and requiring states to mail out absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election.
The legislation weakens mostly GOP state-mandated voter ID requirements by allowing those without photo identification to still vote by signing sworn affidavits.
Manchin, while representing a Democratic West Virginia, maintains a more conservative record and has long preached bipartisanship and preserving traditions in the Senate.
Senator Manchin also currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and also serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs – four critical committees that tackle the important work of addressing our nation's energy needs, overseeing discretionary spending, standing up for our Veterans, and defending our nation.
Manchin is up for re-election in 2024.