Top Democrat Senator Joe Manchin Nixes DC Statehood Through Legislation Idea

Written by Carmine Sabia

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion




The Democrat Party is doing everything in its reach to consolidate its power, but every now and then there is a Democrat who stands up for traditional American values.

More often than not these days that person is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has become a favorite among Republicans and loathed by many Democrats.

After the Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to make Washington, DC the 52st state, Sen. Manchin is saying no way, The Washington Post reported.

On Friday the senator told reporters in West Virginia that he does not support statehood via legislation and that he believes a Constitutional Amendment would be required to make DC a state, The Washington Post reported.

Sen. Joe Manchin III told reporters in his home state of West Virginia on Friday morning that he does not support the bill to make D.C. the nation’s 51st state, according to audio provided by the Democrat’s office and a report from WVNews.

Manchin, a key swing vote in the closely divided Senate, said he believes a constitutional amendment, rather than legislation, would be required to admit D.C. as a state. His stance deals a major blow to statehood advocates who were hoping for his support after the bill passed the House last week.

Manchin cited findings from the Justice Department under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and comments from then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in reaching his decision.

“They all came to the same conclusion: If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment. It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote,” he said in a radio interview.

The bill did not have much of a chance n the Senate regardless as it would be required to meet the 60-vote threshold due to the filibuster, which Sen. Manchin has also said he would not vote to eliminate.

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.

It is not that Sen. Manchin is a Republican sympathizer, he is not. He very much votes with his party but he is a person who stands for the traditions of this nation in the face of pressure from his party and activists to do otherwise.

Manchin has said that he is not a “roadblock” for Joe Biden, he just wants things done properly and in as bipartisan a nature as possible.

“Senator, I talk to Democrats who tell me the reason President Biden’s ambitious agenda is so big and so bold is because they understand history,” CNN host Dana Bash said on the CNN show “State of the Union.”

“And history shows that the president’s party, if they have majorities in Congress, as he does, oftentimes lose that in the midterm elections. And that’s why they have a small window to get things done, they believe, as possible.

“So, they believe that you’re one of the main roadblocks on getting those goals accomplished,” she said.

The senator did not like being called a “roadblock” and promptly defended himself.

“I’m not a roadblock at all,” he said.

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“The best politics is good government. I can’t believe that people believe that, if you just do it my way, and that’ll give us some momentum to get through the next election.

“But when you do something that everyone tags on to — and I have seen good things happen. The people voted against it took credit for it when they went back home,” the senator said.

“We won’t give this system a chance to work. I am not going to be part of blowing up this Senate of ours or, basically, this democracy of ours or the republic that we have. If we have a 51-vote threshold in the Senate, the same as the House, the House wasn’t designed to be partisan. The House was designed to be hot as a firecracker,” Sen. Manchin said.

“We were designed to cool it off. And that’s the founding fathers. It was a brilliant, brilliant strategy they looked at. So, why can’t we try to make this work?

“If you have the violent swings every time you have a party change, then we will have no consistency whatsoever,” he said.