Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin held fast to his support of the filibuster ahead of President Joe Biden’s speech about Democratic voting bills and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vows to debate the issue in the coming days.
“We need some good rules, changes to make the place work better. But getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make the place work better,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday.
With a total filibuster repeal that makes it possible for Democrats to pass legislation without any GOP support likely to fail, Democrats have suggested adjusting the rule in a lesser capacity in hopes that more senators would offer their support. Manchin insisted that any changes to Senate rules should have at least two-thirds support, meaning that at least 17 Republicans would have to agree if he does not budge.
Manchin’s comments came as Schumer took to the floor to criticize Republicans and the election reform bills that GOP legislatures have adopted in multiple states making it more difficult for non-white to vote.
Schumer spoke as multiple Senate Republicans warned against doing away with the filibuster. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Schumer of “trying to bully his members into breaking their word” on the issue, and he vowed to bring votes and use tactics “inconvenient for the majority and this White House in a way that nobody has seen in living memory.”
Manchin did, however, seem open to making modest changes to the filibuster, including switching the 60-vote threshold to a three-fifths threshold and implementing a type of “talking filibuster,” which would allow for more floor debate.