Joe Manchin Caves & Promises Vote To Advance Voting Rights Bill

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This is a big deal. The Democrats have been listening, debating, negotiating, and compromising on the For the People Act, which keeps our Democracy out of the hands of a dictator. The only thing is, they have been doing all this work, not with the Republicans, but among their fellow Democrats. And now, they have a huge breakthrough.

This part of the process is just to let the parties discuss the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch “the Grim Reaper” McConnell has vowed, The Politico reported, that he would kill every bill brought to him by the Democrats, hence the “cute” moniker.

The trouble is that Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them, and that simply does not exist. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been a big proponent of bipartisanship and worked extremely hard to make that happen. Unfortunately, the way the filibuster laws are written means that it takes 60 votes to be filibuster-proof. That does not exist. In essence, the Republicans only need 41 votes to take it down.

The breakthrough is that Senator Manchin decided to join his fellow Democrats on the vote. After a closed-door caucus luncheon, Senate Majority Leader Joe Schumer (D-NY) announced they had a deal to support advancing the For the People Act, he told MSNBC reporters. That does not exist.

‘I’m pleased to report that Sen. Manchin and I have come to an agreement. He came to my office oh about two hours ago and we worked it out.’

A unified front for the Democrats was important, so that they can focus directly on the Republican’s opposition. The compromise allows Manchin the first amendment, a vote on his proposal as a substitute amendment.

The West Virginia senator released a statement that read:

‘Over the past month, I have worked to eliminate the far-reaching provisions of S.1, the For the People Act – which I do not support. I’ve found common ground with my Democratic colleagues on a new version of the bill that ensures our elections are fair, accessible, and secure.’

‘Today I will vote ‘YES’ to move to debate this updated voting legislation as a substitute amendment to ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot and participate in our great democracy.’

For the People Act is crucial for setting a national voting standard to protect the democratic voting system. It also redos the FEC (Federal Election Commission), places limits on congressional redistricting, establishes new presidential and vice-presidential ethics rules, and excludes dark money and unlimited corporate donations.

It would also make Election Day a public holiday, ban gerrymandering, combine voter registration with the state motor vehicle departments, and provide a minimum of 15 days immediately prior to the election for early voting.

Manchin still wants public campaign financing, to limit absentee voting, and require voter IDs such as utilities.

The question now is, what is next?

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