Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) again reiterated that he will not vote to abolish or weaken the filibuster in the Senate, going in opposition to top Democrats who have sought to remove the key legislative hurdle.
“The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government,” Manchin wrote in a Washington Post opinion article. “That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster.”
Manchin also said he does not favor budget reconciliation, which is a tactic being employed by Democratic senators to push through agenda items in the face of Republican opposition.
It comes as Manchin’s own party is attempting to pass President Joe Biden’s massive multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. Democrats have a narrow 50-50 advantage in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris being the tie-breaker.
Manchin stated Monday that he opposes Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which would be included in the infrastructure plan.
“We should all be alarmed at how the budget reconciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle debate around the major issues facing our country today,” the West Virginia Democrat wrote. “Legislating was never supposed to be easy. It is hard work to address the needs of both rural and urban communities in a single piece of legislation, but it is the work we were elected to do.”
Manchin further argued that when the Senate voted to weaken the filibuster, it backfired.
“The political games playing out in the halls of Congress only fuel the hateful rhetoric and violence we see across our country right now,” he said, adding that “the political dysfunction and gridlock have grown more severe” since then.
“We will not solve our nation’s problems in one Congress if we seek only partisan solutions,” he wrote. “Instead of fixating on eliminating the filibuster or shortcutting the legislative process through budget reconciliation, it is time we do our jobs.”
After the infrastructure plan, Democrats may turn their sights on gun-control legislation. Biden on Wednesday night unveiled six executive actions that would further restrict so-called “ghost guns”—guns that can be assembled at home without serial numbers—among other measures. He also is seeking to nominate David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of the ATF.