Published: Mon, June 07, 2021
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Manchin to oppose voting rights bill pushed by U.S. Senate colleagues

Manchin to oppose voting rights bill pushed by U.S. Senate colleagues

'Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized, ' Manchin wrote in an op/ed published Sunday morning in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The federal legislation Manchin opposes would set minimum standards for early voting that was widespread before the official Election Day on November 3 and mail-in voting that could override some of the state Republican voting laws.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Manchin said the bill, known as the For the People Act, "is the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I'm not supporting that because I think it will divide us further".

CNN's Brian Stelter getting panned for interview with Jen Psaki, the New York Times being criticized for "biased" tweet against Joe Manchin, and Peter Daszak getting cited by media fact-checkers and Facebook round out today's top media headlines.

"Republicans in state legislatures aren't anxious about getting bipartisan support to destroy our democracy".

"I am open to any dialogue about the provisions of the bill and will not abandon American democracy", he said.

The bill would require states to expand mail-in voting, which was used widely in last year's presidential election because of the coronavirus pandemic, and it would also lengthen the hours of in-person balloting. According to Manchin, "voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen".

He notes that Democrats have "attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past".

Democrats saw their majority in the House of Representatives cut to a small margin in the November 2020 elections, although they won an effective Senate majority. Thirty-three Senate Democrats penned a letter to Sens. Our founders wisely saw the temptation of absolute power and established specific checks and balances to force compromise to protect us. Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? And I wonder, is senator Manchin reaching out to his Republican colleagues to move them in the direction we need to go. "We urge you to join us in calling for the bipartisan reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act through regular order". However, the voting rights bill would have to clear the 60-vote threshold to withstand a legislative filibuster and proceed to a vote where it could pass with a simple majority. "For as long as I have the privilege of being your USA senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how hard and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love".

Manchin said he favors limited voting rights reform, requiring the federal government to sign off on state election law changes, but his stance so far has only drawn support from one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

"I killed the Russian pipeline, but Joe Biden killed the Keystone pipeline", he will say, referring to the European Nord Stream 2 gas transit scheme and a long-delayed oil feed from Canada, respectively. It is my honest 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.

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