Manchin draws line against repealing legislative filibuster

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season White House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season MORE (D-W.Va.), a prominent centrist, on Tuesday clarified that he would oppose any effort to get rid of the Senate’s legislative filibuster though he expressed he is willing to consider other ideas to reform the rules to get the chamber working again.

“I have never supported a repeal of the filibuster and I don’t support one now. I am willing to consider solutions that promote collaboration so the Senate is able to be a productive body again. But repealing the filibuster would result in even more partisanship,” Manchin tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Manchin clarified his position after saying last week that he was open to listening to ideas by colleagues such as Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyLawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid MORE (D-Ore.), who want to scrap the filibuster as part of an overhaul of chamber rules.


Manchin said last week he is willing to listen to proposed rules changes.

“I just heard they started talking and I’m interested in listening to anything because the place isn’t working. I just heard about it this morning,” Manchin said at the time when asked about proposals to reform the Senate’s filibuster rule.

“I’m open-minded on everything. The place isn’t working,” he said.

Manchin said last year that he was opposed to scrapping the filibuster, which requires senators to muster 60 votes to advance legislation outside the special budgetary process known as reconciliation, which allows spending and tax bills to pass with simple majorities.

“I would hope that they would not ever, ever consider doing away with the filibuster, which is basically the whole premise of the Senate,” he told The Hill in July 2019.


If Manchin is a hard no on eliminating the 60-vote threshold for passing most legislation, it means the filibuster has a good chance of surviving for another Congress, even if Democrats win the White House and recapture the Senate majority.

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (I-Maine), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said last week that he is firmly opposed to getting rid of the 60-vote requirement to pass controversial legislation.

“I think that would be a huge mistake,” King said.

“If we didn’t have the 60-vote rule today, the ACA would be gone,” he added, referring to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. “Medicaid would be severely compromised.”

But there are also powerful proponents in the Senate Democratic conference who say the filibuster should be abolished if Republicans try to obstruct presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE’s agenda, if he were to win the presidency.


“If the Republicans think that they are going to be able to hold up the actions that need to be taken in this country by using the filibuster then they’re wrong. We’re going to have to fight them,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPoll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Biden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Storms a growing danger for East Coast MORE (D-Mass.) told The Hill last week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (R-Ky.) warned Democratic colleagues Tuesday to think very carefully before signing onto the push to scrap the filibuster.

“If there are any responsible Democratic senators left who aren’t going to be stampeded by the hard left, they ought to take a pause and think about whether they really think it’s a good idea for the country to put the one institution that guarantees that America stayed in the middle of the road into the same place as the House,” he told reporters.

Updated: 10:28 p.m.