November 27, 2022

Key Democratic Senator Voices Opposition to Voting Law Reforms | Voice of America

WASHINGTON – A key U.S. centrist Democratic lawmaker, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, adamantly voiced his opposition Sunday to sweeping nationalization of voting laws favored by President Joe Biden and other Democrats.

Manchin, perhaps the most conservative Democrat in the 100-member U.S. Senate, said in an opinion article in a home-state newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail, and in a “Fox News Sunday” television interview that he will continue to oppose the voting reforms because they are too partisan and have not drawn any Republican congressional support.

In the television interview, Manchin described the measure as “the wrong piece of legislation. It will continue to divide us.”

The national voting rights measure would overturn voting restrictions approved by at least 14 Republican-controlled state legislatures that would curb some expanded voting access that was deployed in the 2020 presidential election, such as extended voting hours, drive-through voting at central locations and the widespread use of mail-in balloting.

In his Charleston newspaper essay, Manchin argued that “congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.”

“The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,” he said.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has already approved the legislation. Congressional Democrats overwhelmingly support it, with Republicans equally opposed.

FILE - Voting rights activists gather during a protest against Texas legislators who are advancing a slew of new voting restrictions, in Austin, Texas, May 8, 2021.
FILE – Voting rights activists gather during a protest against Texas legislators who are advancing a slew of new voting restrictions, in Austin, Texas, May 8, 2021.

Democrats have said the federal legislation is necessary, especially to ensure the voting rights of minorities, while accusing Republicans of trying to limit such voting because Blacks overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. Republicans say the new laws are needed to protect election security although there was no evidence of any substantial irregularities in the November 2020 election.   

Manchin’s opposition imperils its passage in the politically divided Senate. Democrats, voting as a 50-member bloc, have been able to push through some legislation on 51-50 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to bring the voting rights legislation to a Senate floor vote in two weeks, but Republicans are likely to filibuster against it, forcing a 60-vote supermajority for passage. That would require Democrats to gain at least 11 Republican votes to support the legislation if Manchin maintains his opposition.

Some progressive Democrats have called for ending Senate filibusters to ease passage of legislation by simple majority votes, but Manchin, and some other Democrats, are opposed, saying the legislative tactic has benefited them when Republicans have controlled the Senate.

State passage of new voting restrictions has its roots in the November election, with some Republican state lawmakers voicing support for former President Donald Trump’s continuing baseless claims that the election was rigged and that he was cheated out of another four-year term in the White House.

The federal legislation Manchin opposes would set minimum standards for early voting that was widespread before the official Election Day on November 3 and mail-in voting that could override some of the state Republican voting laws.

Manchin has voiced support for these proposals but has not clarified where he stands on other provisions, such as requiring that congressional geographic redistricting every 10 years be done by nonpartisan commissions and establishing public financing for congressional campaigns.

Manchin said he favors limited voting rights reform, requiring the federal government to sign off on state election law changes, but his stance so far has only drawn support from one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

 

in U.S.
Related Posts

Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s Pause on New Oil, Gas Leases | Voice of America

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was...

Death Toll From Collapsed Florida Building Rises to 22 | Voice of America

July 3, 2021

July 3, 2021

The death toll from the partial collapse last week of a residential building in Surfside, Florida, rose to 22 on...

Federal Executions Halted; Garland Orders Protocols Reviewed | Voice of America

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

The Justice Department is halting federal executions after a historic use of capital punishment by the Trump administration, which carried...

Blinken Pledges US Support to Rebuild Gaza During Jerusalem Visit | Voice of America

May 25, 2021

May 25, 2021

JERUSALEM – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored Israel’s right to defend itself as he visited Jerusalem on Tuesday as part...

Amazon to Buy MGM, Studio Behind James Bond and ‘Shark Tank’ | Voice of America

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

NEW YORK – Amazon is going Hollywood. The online shopping giant is buying MGM, the movie and TV studio behind...

Blinken, Israeli Foreign Minister Meet in Rome Amid Reset Bilateral Relations | Voice of America

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

ROME – Hush-hush diplomacy. In-person visits. And a very public no-surprises agreement on Iran.                U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken...

Seattle Man Arrested Trying to Join Islamic State Terror Group | Voice of America

June 2, 2021

June 2, 2021

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – A 20-year-old Seattle man is facing a terrorism-related charge after he was arrested while trying to board...

Hundreds Believed Dead in US, Canada Heat Wave | Voice of America

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

SALEM, ORE. – Many of the dead were found alone, in homes without air conditioning or fans. Some were elderly...

Texas Legislature Advances Voting Restrictions | Voice of America

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Majority Republicans in the Texas Senate on Sunday approved one of the most restrictive new voting laws...

Biden in UK on Trip to Meet with Allies, Putin | Voice of America

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

CORNWALL, ENGLAND – U.S. President Joe Biden meets Thursday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on a European trip that...

Internet Outage Hits Major Websites | Voice of America

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

A number of major websites could not be reached early Tuesday because of an outage at the cloud services company...

US Attorney General Vows to Combat Efforts to Curb Voting Rights | Voice of America

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland warned Friday that the Justice Department would vigorously oppose state efforts to impose...

Biden Optimistic About US Progress in COVID Fight | Voice of America

May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021

President Joe Biden is in the U.S. southern state of Virginia Friday, where he is delivering remarks about the progress...

US Head Start Programs Allocated $1B in COVID-19 Relief Money | Voice of America

June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

The Biden administration said Wednesday it will use $1 billion in COVID-19 relief money to fund Head Start programs, which...

Blinken Heads Back to Europe for Meetings on Libya, Defeating Islamic State | Voice of America

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading back to Europe, this time to Germany, France and Italy, to discuss...