Hot off the heels of his attack on Brandon’s voting bills, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is at it again, this time defending the filibuster and attacking those that are trying to nuke it.
He did so while speaking to reporters on Tuesday night, saying “I just don’t know how you break a rule to make a rule.”
That comment came as part of a discussion when a reporter asked if he would support imposing a “talking filibuster,” an idea raised by Chuck Schumer recently.
Specifically, Schumer said “If the Senate cannot protect the right to vote which is the cornerstone of our democracy, then the rules must be reformed. …If the Republicans block cloture on the legislation before us, I will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for a talking filibuster on this legislation,” speaking on his pledge to chain the rules if Republicans don’t vote for a bill he wants to be passed. Quite the guardian of democracy.
Manchin, in response to the reporter’s question about Schumer’s “talking filibuster” idea, said “I love the talking filibuster” but then added, “There’s never been a simple majority vote to basically get off of a debate.”
It was then that he said:
“I just don’t know how you break a rule to make a rule.
There’s no checks and balances [without the filibuster] because basically, you can just sweep right through [with legislation] and the same thing can happen if Republicans had control.
The majority of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus, they’ve changed, they’ve changed their minds. I respect that. They have a right to change their minds. I haven’t. I hope they respect that too. I’ve never changed my mind on the filibuster.”
.@Sen_JoeManchin: "I just don't know how you break a rule to make a rule…The majority of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus, they've changed, they've changed their mind…I haven't…I've never changed my mind on the filibuster. pic.twitter.com/7Byj5e5XDM
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 18, 2022
Reporting on Schumer’s plan to change the rules and create a “speaking filibuster” rule for voting legislation, the Hill reported:
Currently, most legislation faces a 60-vote hurdle before it can advance to a final vote. But under the rules change that Democrats will force a vote on, opponents will be able to delay a voting rights bill by speaking on the Senate floor, but after that a bill will be able to pass by a simple majority. Schumer and Democratic senators stressed that the talking filibuster would only apply to voting legislation, leaving the 60-vote hurdle in place for other issues.
“Once members of the minority party have exhausted all of their speaking rights and defended their position on the Senate floor, the debate will have run its course and the Senate will move to vote on final passage at a majority threshold,” Schumer said, describing the impact of the potential rules change.
“I hope every senator will embrace this practical reform,” Schumer said.
So, Manchin hasn’t changed his mind, even with Schumer trying to come up with a creative way to change the rules without making it too obvious. Good, the republic needs the filibuster to stop slow Joe in his tracks and ensure that elections remain free and fair.