Key Democrat opposes "partisan" elections bill

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced on Sunday that he intends to oppose a broad voting rights bill supported by a majority of his Democratic colleagues, which will expand voting opportunities across the United States.

Since the USA general elections previous year, mail-in voting has been a contentious issue in the country, especially after Republican candidate Donald Trump repeatedly called this process into question and alleged that mail-in voting allows for greater chances of fraud.

Given the enormous implications of the ongoing voting rights battle, Manchin's article drew a furious response from fellow members of Congress and progressive activists.

Appearing on CNN's New Day Monday, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) tore into the senator for, in his view, being as obstructionist as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). By crossing party lines to oppose legislation or block White House appointments, he has sometimes proved to be a thorn in the Biden administration. "And I can not explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party's agenda", Manchin wrote.

He emphasized: "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". Manchin reiterated he would not vote "weaken or eliminate the filibuster", a route that many Democrats see as the only realistic path forward.

"1%20Final.pdf" target="_blank">For the People Act (pdf) would overhaul the US election system by implementing national automatic voter registration and other ballot-access measures, limiting the ability of states to purge voter rolls, restoring voting rights to people who have completed felony sentences, reforming the undemocratic redistricting process, and establishing a publicly financed small-dollar donation matching system for candidates who reject high-dollar contributions.

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Manchin said in an interview with "Fox News Sunday" that this bill called "Act for the People" "is the wrong legislation that unites our country and unites our country".

With the full Senate expected to vote on the bill this month, voting rights organizations are planning to "ratchet up pressure on Democrats.in coming weeks to do whatever it takes to pass the federal voting legislation they view as key to counteracting the blitz of new voting restrictions in Republican-led states", CNN reported Sunday.

By Joe Manchin, Senator, West Virginia. "Next week, the heads of the NAACP and other civil rights groups plan to press their case with Sen". Republicans contend the rules only make it tougher to vote fraudulently.

Meagan Hatcher-Mays, director of democracy policy at Indivisible, told CNN that "Republicans in state legislatures aren't anxious about getting bipartisan support to destroy our democracy". He also affirmed that he opposes changing the filibuster.

Even if the filibuster rule was removed, the Senate's 50-50 split means one Republican would have to vote with all other Democrats to pass it, with Vice President Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Our founders were wise to see the temptation of absolute power and built in specific checks and balances to force compromise that serves to preserve our fragile democracy. I continue to engage with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about the value of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and I am encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights.

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