Good News For America

John Hinderaker posted an article today at Power Line Blog about a recent statement by Senator Joe Manchin.

The article reports:

Now that they control Congress, although by the barest of margins, the Democrats can do considerable damage. But for their long dreamt-of power grab–adding more states, packing the Supreme Court, institutionalizing electoral fraud–they need to break the filibuster.

Ending the filibuster would require the votes of all 50 Democratic senators. That has always seemed unlikely, and yesterday Joe Manchin made it official in an op-ed in a local newspaper. Manchin said that he will not vote for H.R. 1, the Universal Voter Fraud Act, nor will he vote to end the filibuster…

Yesterday Senator Manchin posted an editorial in the Charleston Gazette-Mail explaining his vote.

Here are some highlights from that article:

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.

…Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.

As such, congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.

Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. 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.

…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. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

American democracy is something special, it is bigger than one party, or the tweet-filled partisan attack politics of the moment. It is my sincere hope that all of us, especially those who are privileged to serve, remember our responsibility to do more to unite this country before it is too late.

Interesting. I don’t mean to by cynical (but I am good at it), but considering the pressure Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema have been under to support the For the People Act, it may be that both of them have put the interests of America above their party or personal interest. If that is the case, that is wonderful. But there is another possible scenario. It is quite possible that they are not the only Democrats who don’t support the For the People Act. In that case, their statements may be an excuse for the Democrat leadership not to bring the vote to the floor. In that case, no one is on the record for supporting it. Also, Senator Manchin is a Senator from a state that voted 68 percent for President Trump in 2020. If the bill was not going to pass anyway, this puts Senator Manchin in a very positive light. I wonder if he would have voted against it if all of the other Democrats were willing to vote for the bill.

 

When Your Power Grab Gets Slowed

Yesterday National Review posted an article about a recent ruling by the Senate parliamentarian that will put a crimp in the plans of Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass their radical agenda without Republican support.

The article reports:

The Senate parliamentarian issued a new ruling that would effectively allow Democrats to use automatic budget reconciliation just one more time this year to bypass Republicans to advance President Biden’s progressive agenda. 

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that a revision to the 2021 budget resolution cannot be automatically discharged from the Senate Budget Committee, according to The Hill. This means that Democrats would need at least one Republican on the 11-11 panel to vote with them if they want to use reconciliation on more than one occasion before the legislative session ends in October.

The bi-partisan talk during the presidential campaign was simply talk. There never was any plan to work with Republicans unless the Republicans agreed to everything the Democrats wanted. To Democrats the definition of unity is “when everyone agrees with me.”

The article notes:

The ruling makes it more likely that Democrats will pursue a fresh fiscal 2022 budget to bypass Republicans if infrastructure negotiations fail, according to Bloomberg.

The news comes as Biden said on Tuesday that June “should be a month of action on Capitol Hill” and that while pundits on TV may ask why he has not done more to pass his legislative priorities that it is because he “only has a majority of effectively four votes in the house and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends,” likely referring to Senators Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.).

During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki attempted to rewrite Biden’s remarks, claiming that the president was only commenting on TV punditry.

“I can tell you that sometimes these conversations can be oversimplified. TV isn’t always made for complex conversations about policymaking,” she said. “What the president was simply conveying was that his threshold, his litmus test is not to see eye-to-eye on every single detail of every issue and he doesn’t with Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin.”

“He believes there’s an opportunity to work together to make progress to find areas of common ground even if you have areas of disagreement,” Psaki said.

However, Republicans have criticized Biden and his party for doing little to work with the GOP to find common ground. Democrats used budget reconciliation earlier this year to pass the president’s COVID-19 response package with a simple majority and without Republican support.

“He knows well having served 36 years in the Senate that sometimes it’s not a straight line to victory or success, sometimes it takes more time and he’s open to many paths forward,” she said. “I don’t think he was intending to convey anything more than a little bit of commentary on TV punditry.” 

Keep your eye on the filibuster. If the filibuster survives, we may get through the Biden administration without bankrupting the country.