Manchin Shatters Schumer's Fantasies on the Filibuster, Build Back Better

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would be trying to create a filibuster carve out to pass a “voting rights” bill. The ultimate aim in their calculus has nothing whatever to do with “voting rights.” Everyone who can legally vote can do so. No one is stopped from voting. This is an effort to federalize elections. And one of the reasons they’re in such a rush to get this done is because they know they are about to get creamed in the midterms — they need to do something, anything, to disrupt that.


As far as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — the two Democratic senators who are declared opponents of doing away with the filibuster — Schumer said that they had to keep “pressing them and pressing them and pressing them until they do [comply].”

Gee, because that strategy worked so well before? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, right? Not making a lot of sense there, Chuck. Of course, the problem is he can’t argue from sense because all sense goes in the opposite direction. What are they going to do when they no longer have the power and are once again in the minority? They’re not thinking of that because they’re throwing everything they can into grabbing the power now, with the idea that if they do so, they can block out the Republicans in perpetuity.

But Joe Manchin has already popped Schumer’s bubble and done in this goal. He told reporters today that any carveout would be a “heavy lift,” that if you did that “you eat the whole turkey,” meaning you once you go down that road, you’ve killed the filibuster. He refused to go along with anything that wasn’t bipartisan. Translation: No dice, Chuckie. Yet Schumer just seems to refuse delivery on the message.


Manchin made it clear he understood that this would come back to haunt the Democrats if they did anything so stupid. “For us to go it alone….it comes back at you pretty hard,” Manchin said, specifically mentioning the late Harry Reid blowing up the filibuster for lower-level judges and how that came back to bite the Democrats. He and Sinema get that, but most of the other Democrats don’t.

But Manchin didn’t leave it there. He responded to questions about where the Build Back Better bill (BBB) was going because there had been some reports there might be talk going on to cut it up into easier-to-pass smaller bills. Manchin disabused everyone of that, at least in so far as when it comes to him. “There is no negotiation going on at this time,” Manchin said.

Manchin said he wasn’t going to do anything to divide the country and that everyone needed to work across the aisle.

So, I don’t know what it is that Schumer thinks he’s going to do with a vote, apart from maybe hurting some of his people that might need to run in more moderate or red districts. As we noted, Joe Manchin’s position may actually help some of those people if they aren’t tagged with voting for the BBB. It sure doesn’t sound like Schumer has Manchin on board with anything.



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