Manchin positions himself to block Biden's plan to kill filibuster

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. (Facebook profile)
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. (Facebook profile)

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who so far has defeated Joe Biden’s plans to spend trillions of tax dollars on social programs and green agendas, now has set himself up as an insurmountable barrier to the president’s demand that the Senate kill the filibuster rule outright.

The Hill reported Manchin said on Tuesday that, “We need some good rules changes to make the place work better. But getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better.”

Biden must have Manchin’s support for killing the rule if his plan to adopt as law the Democrat party agenda to take over all elections is to succeed. But Manchin was elected from a state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, not Joe Biden.

Biden turned to the elections issue after Manchin effectively stalled Biden’s latest multi-trillion dollar spending program because of what it would do to inflation.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., also has opposed killing the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most bills in the Senate to advance. That means Democrat plans must have at least nominal GOP support to succeed.

The Democrats can change the rule with a simple majority, but unless they can convince Manchin and Sinema to adopt their extremism they are out of luck.

Manchin said, “To break the opportunity for the minority to particulate completely, that’s just not who we are.”

Constitutional expert and political commentator Jonathan Turley wrote in a column that Biden had, for years, fought efforts to kill the filibuster.

He has said such a move would be “disastrous,” and Turley noted it’s evidence of Biden’s complete submission to the “whatever it takes” ideology the Democrats have adopted to get their agenda.

Turley pointed out that Biden’s colleagues, “then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and now-Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,” also “gave equally full-throated endorsements of the rule being denounced today as a thoroughly racist relic. Schumer, who is now also pushing for the change, previously said to abandon the rule would be ‘doomsday for Democracy’ and reduce the United States to a ‘banana Republic.'”

The agenda behind the demand for a free-for-all with Senate rules is that Democrats want “a sweeping federalization of state election laws for the first time in our history. It would federally preempt the laws in dozens of states and declare that Congress, not state legislatures, will now dictate how people vote in states like Georgia,” he explained.

Turley said, “What is most striking is the inherent conflict in this logic. President Biden is going to a state where representatives passed voting rules as part of their democratic process. He is effectively saying that they must protect democracy from itself and support Washington dictating the rules in Georgia.”

He continued, “While denouncing the ‘Big Lie’ of those who questioned the last election, Democrats in the same breath are arguing that the next election might be illegitimate or might be stolen under current election laws. Democratic leaders have insisted that Trump began that Big Lie by seeding doubts months in advance of the 2020 election due to the laws in blue states. Now those leaders are seeding the same doubts about the laws in red states before the 2022 election.”

Turley pointed out, “It was the Democrats who unwisely created the exception to the filibuster for judicial candidates in 2010. The Republicans later used that change as an excuse for an exception for Supreme Court nominees.”

The Daily Mail noted that the Democrats very well could regret manipulating the filibuster rule if they would succeed.

That’s because, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell … threatened to use Senate rules to call up a raft of legislation in response – including bills that might peel off a vote a or two from vulnerable Democrats. ”

McConnell said, “I want to make something very, very clear. Fifty Republican senators – the largest possible minority – have been sent here to represent the many millions of Americans whom leader Schumer wants so badly to leave behind. So, if my colleague tries to break the Senate to silence those millions of Americans, we will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this White House than what anybody has seen in living memory.”

The report explained, “McConnell’s planned virtual takeover of the floor agenda would not result in new laws – Democrats could block them and President Biden could veto them anyway. But it could put pressure on Democrats while also tying up the floor with procedural votes.”

The GOP could bring up the legislation in the 50-50 Senate through provisions of Rule 14 – which allows a senator to place legislation directly on the Senate calendar. It could, the report said, “force Democrats to cast votes out of step with the majority of their colleagues.”

On McConnell’s list could be subjects including Keystone XL, the Trump administration’s water policy rules, a block to American Rescue Plan funds for schools that aren’t conducting in-person learning, a block to payments to illegal aliens, abortion and a border wall.

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