OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has remained clear about one thing: he is not going to support ending the Senate filibuster.
And he made that unequivocally clear again this week.
Manchin wrote in the Washington Post that under “no circumstance” will he support ending the filibuster, which would allow the Democrats to pass many of their radical ideas without any Republican support.
Manchin also said would be “opposed to using the budget reconciliation process, under which certain legislation requires only a majority vote, again to circumvent the filibuster, an avenue Senate Democrats have considered for passing Biden’s ambitious infrastructure package.”
“I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote.
“The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation,” he added.
The Senate filibuster is a rule that requires 60 members to end debate on most topics and move to a vote.
The Senate is currently tied at 50-50, but Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the tie-breaking vote and give Democrats the majority.
Democrats want to end the filibuster so they can ram through several of their radical policies, but they can’t afford a single Democrat to vote against them.
They need all 50 of their votes, which is why Manchin has become such a critical figure.
Sen. Manchin says in an op-ed published Wednesday that he would, under no circumstance, vote to weaken or abolish the Senate filibuster. https://t.co/jmpd6m7yEj
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 8, 2021
And, for the record, Manchin has made it abundantly clear that he will not support ending the filibuster.
The West Virginia Democrat was asked last month by Fox News if he supports ending the filibuster and he made it clear he will never support it.
“Never!” Manchin declared.
“Jesus Christ, what don’t you understand about never?” he added.
It is not the first time Manchin has said he’ll never change his opinion on the filibuster.
Back in January, Manchin told the Washington Post, “I will not vote to bust the filibuster under any condition, on anything that you can think of.”
Manchin said the same thing back in November.
“I commit to tonight and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin said at the time.
Manchin called the U.S. Senate a “unique” legislative body in that the original parameters encourage bipartisanship.
“I’m a proud moderate conservative Democrat. Maybe there’s not many of us left but I can tell you what this country wants is moderation,” he said.
“Whatever the message was, it was wrong for this many people to be split, for us not to be able to have a mess that didn’t scare the bejeezus out of people and when you’re talking about basically the Green New Deal and all this socialism, that’s not who we are as a Democratic Party,” he added.
While Manchin may be wrong about where the Democrat Party is headed, he serves as a bulwark against a one-party tyranny, at least until the Midterm Elections next year.
If he can hold the line until then, Republicans are in a prime position to take back one of the legislative chambers, if not both.