Manchin: ‘I’m Not Going to Change My Mind on the Filibuster,’ Open to Reconciliation

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)  said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he was open to using reconciliation as they did to pass coronavirus relief, which allows a simple majority to pass legislation in the Senate.

Anchor Chuck Todd said, “Let me ask you this. I know where you stand on the filibuster itself. As you know, these election reform proposals that the House has passed, and you know Chuck Schumer is very in favor of them. It’s got a lot of Democratic base support here. Do you believe in the idea of a carve-out where you can pass election-related bills just like you do with budget reconciliation with 50 votes rather than 60? Are you open to a concept like that?

Manchin said, “Let me give you this concept, Chuck. What you saw happen with that 50-vote swing and one vote, no matter who it may be, can make a big difference in a tied Senate. Can you imagine doing day-to-day operations this way? Can you imagine not having to sit down, where there’s no reason for you to sit down with your colleagues on both sides and have their input? The Senate is the most unique body of government in the world, governing body in the world. It’s deliberate. It’s basically designed to make sure the minority has input. That’s exactly our Founding Fathers. If you want to make it more painful, make them stand there and talk, I’m willing to look at any way we can. I’m not willing to take away the involvement of the minority. I’ve been in the minority. I’ve been in the majority. I can tell you, the respect I have on both sides is I have something to say, listen to me.”

Todd said, “You didn’t directly answer my question about would you be willing to go a reconciliation route for election-only bills like HR-1. ”

Manchin said, “I’m not willing to go into reconciliation until we allow Senate to do its job. Just by assuming they’ll never work with us, this is the other side. This is tribal. Republicans will never agree on anything, or Democrats will never agree. I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t buy into that. There’s no need for us to go to reconciliation until the other process has failed. That means the normal process of committee hearings, amendments.”

Todd said, “It sounds like what you’re saying is, if Republicans continue to be unified in opposition and don’t have an open mind, then you may change your mind?”

Manchin said, “I’m not going to change my mind on the filibuster. I’ll change my mind on the we need to go to a reconciliation, to where we have to get something done once. I know they have process into it. I’m not going to go there until my Republican friends have the ability to have their say, also. I’m hoping they’ll get involved to the point where we have ten of them that will work with 50 of us or 15 of them that will work with 45 of us, whatever it takes the majority, and it takes 61 moving it through the normal process.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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