W.V. Citizens Launch Protest Against Joe Manchin’s Cowardice

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\One of the most persistent barriers to achieving legislative goals for the Biden administration has so far not been Republicans, although they’re certainly doing what they can to make things as tough as possible for the new president. For Joe Biden, the hurdle is consistently Joe Manchin (D-WV).

In Manchin’s home state of West Virginia, protesters are letting him know they feel about his resistance to Biden’s latest policy proposal, the For the People Act, a piece of voting legislation that ensures the legacy of Rep. John Lewis and protects the rights of all Americans to vote. Leading the protest against Manchin is Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, who said:

‘There is no such thing as being moderate when it comes to protecting voting rights and lifting the poor and lifting low wealth people and providing health care, and providing living wages…Which side are you on, Joe Manchin?’

The West Virginia senator has stated in the past that he would support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which is part of the For the People Act. That part of the legislation would ensure that states cannot change the rules in the middle of the game, so to speak, since they could not decide to make changes in districts with high populations of voters of color without being checked on it, since it requires a preclearance to make changes.

‘The preclearance required states and jurisdictions with track records of racial voting discrimination to get any change to voting procedures approved by the Justice Department, but the formula was ruled outdated and thus unconstitutional in a landmark 2013 Supreme Court decision.’

While it is true that Manchin’s support is critical since even overturning the filibuster wouldn’t get the legislation signed if even one Democrat refuses to back the legislation, Manchin has not even committed, as has in fact flatly refused to commit, to supporting these key pieces of Democratic legislation. The vast majority of Republicans won’t even pass a bill protecting voting rights for Americans of color.

‘Manchin and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) issued a joint statement in mid-May that stressed bipartisan support for reauthorizing the preclearance, but the bill is unlikely to receive a sufficient amount of Republican votes to clear the filibuster.’