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Manchin: Election overhaul bill 'the wrong piece of legislation' to unite country

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinHollywood goes all in for the For the People Act The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said the sweeping election reform bill in Congress, dubbed the For the People Act, is “the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country.”

"I think it will divide us further. I don't want to be in a country divided any further than I'm in right now. I love my country, and I think my Democrat and Republican colleagues feel the same," Manchin told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSunday shows - Biden foreign policy in focus Pompeo defends Trump on Russia in Chris Wallace interview Lewandowski says Trump has not spoken to him about being reinstated MORE on "Fox News Sunday."

"If we continue to divide it and separate us more, it's not going to be united. It's not going to be the country that we love and know, and it's gonna be hard because it'll be the back and forth, no matter who's in power," he added.

Manchin, one of the Senate Democratic Conference's most conservative members, said that while there are “a lot of great things” he can agree with in the bill, there are “an awful lot of things that basically don’t pertain directly to voting.”

Manchin’s remarks came just hours after he announced in an op-ed that he will vote against the legislation if it is brought to the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.) said last month that he was planning to force a vote on the measure.

The House passed the bill in March in a 220-210 vote. No House Republicans supported the measure, and one Democrat voted against the legislation.

The bill would require states to offer mail-in ballots, a minimum of 15 days of early voting, and online and same-day voter registration. Additionally, it calls for the creation of independent commissions to draw congressional districts in an effort to put an end to partisan gerrymandering.

It would also provide additional resources to stave off foreign threats on elections, enable automatic voter registration, and make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.

Manchin's refusal to support the legislation puts its fate in question, as the bill appears unlikely to attract the bipartisan 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster or the 50 votes necessary to pass if Democrats decide to nix the filibuster.

In Sunday morning's op-ed, however, Manchin urged against using the so-called nuclear option.