As Democrats plan next step, Manchin says he is ready to make filibuster harder to use

Top line

Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), a decisive vote in the narrow majority of Democrats in Congress, said on Sunday that while he will not budge from his opposition to eliminating the filibuster, he believes he will ‘it should be “more difficult to use” in order to encourage a bipartite agreement.

Highlights

Manchin maintained that he would not support his progressive colleagues pushing to end filibuster, telling “Fox News Sunday” that this “defined who we are as the Senate.”

However, the West Virginia Democrat said he was “ready to consider” ideas to make the filibuster more “painful” to invoke.

“It should really be painful and we’ve made it more comfortable over the years,” Manchin said, pitching the idea of ​​a talking filibuster, which would require lawmakers to speak at length if they wish to use the procedure, increasing the burden on senators and possibly serving as a deterrent.

“I’m ready to watch in any way I can,” Manchin said, “But I’m not ready to take out the minority involvement… I’ve been in the minority.”

During a separate appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Manchin said he would only be open to reconciliation – a process that would allow the chamber to pass a number of budget-related bills with a simple majority – if all other processes have failed.

Crucial quote

“I’m not going to change my mind about filibuster,” Manchin told NBC. “I will change my mind if we have to move towards reconciliation… But I’m not going to go until my Republican friends have a chance to speak as well.”

Key context

Fearing that President Biden’s more progressive legislation could be blocked in the Senate, a growing number of Democrats have signaled their support for the end of filibuster, which would make it easier to implement his gun control plans at fire, immigration, LGBT protection, etc. However, the party currently lacks the votes and Biden himself still does not support abolishing the rule, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said on Sunday.

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