Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Friday he “would not be able to support” House legislation to federalize elections.
Manchin also said on MetroNews that he believes election integrity is necessary.
“Every vote should be accessible, it should be secure, and it should be fair. That’s the responsibility we have, and [if]the states are subverting that, then we should put guard rails on it,” he said.
Manchin did not specify, however, which parts of the 800-page bill, named H.R. 1, he found to be necessary, which passed the House on March 3.
“How in the world could you, with the tension we have right now, allow a voting bill to restructure the voting of America on a partisan line? I just believe with all my heart and soul that’s what would happen, and I’m not going to be part of it,” he said April 27.
Manchin has also said in a statement on March 25:
A healthy democracy depends on a voting system that is accessible, free, fair, and secure. There are some legitimate concerns about the implementation of the For the People Act, especially in rural areas. As a former Secretary of State, I know, firsthand, the importance of local decision-making around voter accessibility and election security.
With that in mind, there are bipartisan proposals embedded in this bill that can strike the right balance and make great strides on each of these issues. Instead of arguing about the election reforms on which we disagree, Congress should be working together to enact those on which we can agree.
Manchin stands in the way of the Senate canceling the filibuster, which needs the 60 vote threshold needed to pass legislation.
However, Manchin’s position is being attacked by fellow Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has received permission from the Senate to use a tactic called reconciliation to enact budget-related items.
“We need big, bold action. That’s what America needs. We want to do as much of that as we can in a bipartisan way, and we’re proceeding to do that,” Schumer said Monday.
Nevertheless, Manchin doesn’t have a problem throwing a wrench into the radical Democrats’ list of legislative items, telling the New York Times, “What are they [Democrats] going to do? They going to go into West Virginia and campaign against me? Please, that would help me more than anything.”