Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate Democrats eye talking filibuster NAACP president presses senators on voting rights: ‘You will decide who defines America’ Schumer tees up showdown on voting rights, filibuster MORE (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday defended his opposition to changing the 60-vote legislative filibuster and told progressives threatening to primary him over the fight to “bring it on.”
“I’ve been primaried my entire life. That would not be anything new for me. … Bring it on,” Manchin told reporters, asked about some of his colleagues not ruling out supporting a primary opponent.
Manchin’s comments come as Senate Democrats are headed to defeat on their push to change the Senate filibuster in order to pass election-related legislation.
The Senate is expected to hold a vote on Wednesday to try to end debate on voting legislation that combines the Freedom to Vote Act, which would overhaul federal elections, and the John LewisJohn LewisSenate Democrats eye talking filibuster NAACP president presses senators on voting rights: ‘You will decide who defines America’ Schumer tees up showdown on voting rights, filibuster MORE Voting Rights Advancement Act that would expand the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
But Republicans will block the bill from getting the 60 votes needed to move forward. After that happens, Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Voting rights week for Democrats (again) Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Hundreds attend mass funeral for victims of Bronx apartment building fire MORE (D-N.Y.) will move to change the Senates rules.
Under the rules change proposal, Senate Democrats want to get rid of the 60-vote hurdle for voting legislation and move to a talking filibuster that would force opponents to speak from the floor to delay a bill, which would ultimately be able to pass by a simple majority.
While Schumer is expected to force the rules change vote, which senators said was likely to happen on Wednesday, the effort will fall short because he needs total unity from all 50 Democrats to change the rules without Republicans.
Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSenate Democrats eye talking filibuster NAACP president presses senators on voting rights: ‘You will decide who defines America’ Schumer tees up showdown on voting rights, filibuster MORE (D-Ariz.) both support the 60-vote threshold required for most legislation to advance in the Senate. Sen. Mark KellyMark KellyTwo-thirds of Americans support banning lawmakers from trading stocks: poll Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE (D-Ariz.) also hasn’t said how he will vote.
“The majority of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus have 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,” Manchin told reporters.
Manchin argued for reporters that going to a simple majority for bills isn’t in step with the Senate’s history. Manchin asked questions and made a similar case in a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday, a source confirmed. Senate Democrats involved in the rules change disagree with him and have talked up previous rules changes as part of their pitch to him.
Manchin told reporters that “I love a talking filibuster,” but reiterated that he wouldn’t support getting rid of the supermajority requirement.
“That’s never happened. That’s never happened in the history in our country,” Manchin said when asked about letting bills only need a simple majority to advance in the Senate.