Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is standing firm against nuking the Senate’s filibuster, telling Capitol Hill pool reporters again on Monday that he will “never” support ending the rule.
Asked if he is open to changing his position on the filibuster, Manchin responded by saying: “Never! Jesus Christ. What don’t you understand about never?”
In January Manchin appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” reassuring viewers he will not vote to end the filibuster after viewing a clip of his earlier vow, Manchin responded, “It’s all the same. Nothing’s changed.”
In November Manchin also appeared on Fox News Channel’s Special Report, vowing that he will not vote for packing the courts or ending the filibuster if Democrats take the majority in the Senate. At the time saying:
I commit to you tonight, and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now. Because when they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that. I will not vote to pack the courts. I think — and I will not vote to end the filibuster. … I will not be the 50th Democrat voting to end that filibuster or to basically stack the court, and in all the other things you’re hearing about, Bret, also, defund the police. I don’t know of any of the Democrats in the caucus that are for defunding the police. We’re not for that whatsoever. And when they talk about basically, Medicare for All, we can’t even pay for Medicare for some. It doesn’t make any sense at all.
The Senate filibuster rule requires 60 votes to pass legislation out of the chamber, except in rare circumstances where a budget gimmick called reconciliation can be used to drop the total number of votes necessary to pass a bill down to just a simple majority of 51 votes.
With a 50-50 Senate split evenly between Republicans and Democrats–where Vice President Kamala Harris breaks the tie giving Democrats a slim majority–the filibuster rule means, except for things that can, on rare occasion, pass through reconciliation, the Senate Democrats need to win over at least 10 Republicans to pass any measures.
On issues like amnesty, a priority for President Joe Biden and Harris, it seems unlikely that Democrats will be able to overcome the filibuster. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told Breitbart News he believes Senate Republicans have the votes to stop amnesty in the Senate.
Hard leftists have been urging Democrats to use what is called the “nuclear option” to eliminate the 60-vote rule, but since both Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have publicly affirmed repeatedly they would not support such an action, the Democrats do not have the votes to eliminate the filibuster.