Dem Rep. Jones: We Have ‘Months’ to Save Democracy from ‘Jim Crow’ Status Quo, Whether You Call H.R. 1 Opponents Racist, ‘Whatever’

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hallie Jackson Reports,” Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) said of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and other opponents of the For the People Act, “whether you want to call someone racist or someone as supportive of a status quo environment where large numbers of the electorate are disenfranchised, whatever.” And that Manchin “should not want to be known as the senator who blocked voting rights and who undermined American democracy when we only have a few months left to save it this summer.” Jones also agreed with comparing Manchin to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Jones said, “[I]t’s our job to educate him on a number of things: First, the fact that the For the People Act is of foundational, necessary importance to saving our democracy, also that the filibuster itself was accidental in its origin, and it has been used to quite racist, anti-democratic effect throughout our nation’s history. And so, I think, and I have to believe that when he is educated on these things, he will understand that we will never get ten Republicans to vote for the For the People Act or even the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which he prefers, but yet has not yet been introduced. Because we couldn’t even get ten of them to vote for a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6 that nearly claimed their lives.”

Host Hallie Jackson then asked, “Do think that Sen. Manchin or anybody who does not support the For the People Act, do you consider them to be racist?”

Jones responded, “Look, you know, I think words like that mean nothing if the result is that we are upholding a Jim Crow voter disenfranchisement status quo, right? So, whether you want to call someone racist or someone as supportive of a status quo environment where large numbers of the electorate are disenfranchised, whatever. The fact is, it is unacceptable and he should not want to be known as the senator who blocked voting rights and who undermined American democracy when we only have a few months left to save it this summer.”

Jackson then asked Jones whether he agrees with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) labeling Manchin “the new Mitch McConnell.”

Jones answered, “I do. And it’s unfortunate that we are at this point. But the fact is, enough information has been shared with the senator, Marc Elias, just a few weeks ago, presented to the House — excuse me, the Senate Democratic Caucus and explained the foundational importance of this bill. Of course, Joe Manchin is the only Democratic senator who has not co-sponsored the For the People Act. And it is, of course, something that enjoys bipartisan support among the American people. So, why is it that he can’t see that the same people who wouldn’t vote for the bipartisan commission to investigate January 6 are not going to vote to preserve American democracy, when they know, when the modern Republican Party knows that it cannot compete on the merits of its policy ideas, which are deeply unpopular with the American electorate? So, instead has pivoted to disenfranchising large numbers of the American electorate, chief among them, black and brown people, young people, and working people.”

He added that Manchin seems to be “relishing being the person to block Biden’s agenda.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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