Politics

Manchin says he will vote against Democrats' sweeping voting rights bill

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Key Points
  • Sen. Joe Manchin said he will vote against the sweeping federal election reform bill introduced by congressional Democrats.
  • The decision by the moderate West Virginia Democrat essentially guarantees the legislation will fail to pass in Congress.
  • The bill, also known as S.1, would require a minimum of 10 GOP votes to move past the filibuster and move to a final vote on passage.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) attends a news conference at the Marriott Hotel at Waterfront Place June 3, 2021 in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Michael Swensen | Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday will vote against the sweeping federal election reform bill introduced by congressional Democrats, called the For the People Act, a move essentially guaranteeing the legislation will fail to pass in Congress.

"I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening blinds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For The People Act," the moderate West Virginia Democrat wrote wrote in an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

"The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen," Manchin wrote.

The voting rights bill, also known as S.1, would require a minimum of 10 GOP votes to move past the filibuster and move to a final vote on passage.

The legislation has provisions aimed to make it easier to register and vote, combat gerrymandering, improve election cybersecurity and reform campaign finance, among other things. Republicans have opposed it and without Manchin's backing, the legislation is unlikely to pass.

Manchin said he would instead support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would reinstate a provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act that was weakened by the Supreme Court in 2013.

Manchin also reiterated that he would not support eliminating the filibuster, a move that would block parts of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda on issues like voting rights and climate change.

The filibuster requires legislation to receive 60 votes in the Senate, which is evenly divided 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats have been pushing to eliminate or reform the filibuster in order to pass elections reform legislation. Biden has said he supports reforming but not eliminating the filibuster.

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