Democrat senator Joe Manchin is effectively the only thing standing between the Biden Administration and their ability to destroy election integrity in America.
Manchin announced that he will not be voting on the administration’s overhaul of U.S. election law.
While republicans are united against the new bill, Manchin is the only democrat to stand against it.
Without his support, the bill has little chance of passing.
Manchin explained his opposition of the bill:
“Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.”
The Associated Press has the latest on the bill's chances of passing without Manchin's support:
A key Democratic senator says he will not vote for the largest overhaul of U.S. election law in at least a generation, leaving no plausible path forward for legislation that his party and the White House have portrayed as crucial for protecting access to the ballot.
“Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,″ Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote in a home-state newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
He wrote that failure to bring together both parties on voting legislation would “risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.”
The bill would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system. Among dozens of other provisions, it would require states to offer 15 days of early voting and allow no-excuse absentee balloting.
Democrats have pushed the legislation as the antidote to a wave of restrictive state voting laws sweeping the country, many inspired by former President Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud in his 2020 election loss. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has pledged to bring the election bill to a vote the week of June 21, testing where senators stand. But without Manchin’s support, the bill has no chance of advancing. Republicans are united against it.
In appearances on two Sunday news shows, Manchin stressed his reasons for opposing the bill, including his view that it is too broad.
“I think 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 further,” Manchin said. He also said he believes Republicans will see the need for a bipartisan deal.
“And if they think they’re going to win by subverting and oppressing people from voting, they’re going to lose. I assure you they will lose,” he said.
Manchin said lawmakers should instead focus their energies on revitalizing the landmark Voting Rights Act, which was weakened by a Supreme Court decision in 2013. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has joined him in calling for that approach.
Newsmax has more on Manchin's reasoning behind voting against the legislation:
"I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act."
With the Senate split 50-50 with Republicans, Manchin's decision sinks Democrats' hopes of forcing the voting reform bill through the Senate by doing away with the filibuster that requires 60 votes and Republican support.
"This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support," Manchin wrote. "Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?
"The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen."
The Senate filibuster must remain, Manchin argued.
"With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They've attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.
"Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster."