Earlier this week, in a show of opposition to voter suppression bills introduced after Donald Trump’s Big Lie – the one about him being cheated out of the 2020 presidential election – Democrats in Texas fled the state to avoid sitting for a vote they were sure to lose that would suppress voter turnout and make it harder for minority voters to cast ballots.
For many Democrats, voting rights are the most important political issue of our times.
NEW: Sen. Joe Manchin — a key Democratic holdout over efforts to pass federal voting rights legislation — is headed to Texas on Friday for a fundraiser with several wealthy Republican donors. https://t.co/1uBu33y8LK
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) July 16, 2021
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has so far refused to stand with his party on a federal voting rights bill, is traveling to Texas while Texas Democrats are in Washington D.C. trying to rally votes to protect democracy. His actions prompt voters quite often to question exactly where his loyalties lie, and the donors he’ll be meeting with in Texas while the fight for democracy rages on doesn’t indicate that there’s a good answer to those questions.
According to the Texas Tribune:
‘The host committee includes titans of the Texas oil and gas industry — many of whom donate almost exclusively to Republicans. But there is a prominent Democrat included among the hosts: former Houston Mayor Bill White. White was the 2010 Democratic nominee for governor…Manchin is the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the most powerful perch on Capitol Hill when it comes to oil and gas policy. He will be up for reelection in 2024.’
The announcement comes after news that Manchin is on a list of lawmakers preferred by the Big Oil industry, a number of whom provide money for his campaigns. So while Democrats in one red state do their job for the American people, Sen. Manchin appears to be hard at work doing his job for Big Oil.
Breaking News: A group of Texas Democrats fled the state in an effort to block a GOP-backed voting law. More than 50 Democrats signed on, an official involved said, enough to prevent Republicans from attaining the quorum needed to conduct business. https://t.co/iPjADFdXK7
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 12, 2021
Despite having already had a proposed compromise rejected by Republicans, Manchin continues to insist that he’s waiting on a voting bill that can be passed on a bipartisan basis. Since that is clearly not going to happen, it appears Manchin has given up.
Speaking with reporters, Manchin said that:
‘We work with the Voting Rights Act that we had, started in 1965, and what we’ve evolved into, and basically make a piece of legislation, one piece of legislation that protects the rights of voting, the procedure of voting, democracy, the guardrails on democracy, that’s all. And there shouldn’t be a Republican or Democrat should oppose it.’
Bring on the Manchin Compromise! https://t.co/lS3YO435XW
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) July 16, 2021