Joe Manchin Caves to Chuck Schumer, Will Vote to Advance Federal Takeover of Elections

Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. speak to reporters as they walk from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's, D-Nev., office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, after a meeting on gun control. Reid's determination to stage a vote came despite continued inconclusive talks between …
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) caved under pressure from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Tuesday, agreeing to vote to advance the federal takeover of elections legislation.

The deal entailed Manchin being the 50th Democrat vote to advance the “For the People Act,” which still must survive a Republican filibuster during a procedural hurdle, is an exchange for a vote on Manchin’s alterations to the legislation if Republicans cave and support debating the legislation.

“Today I will vote ‘YES’ to move to debate this updated voting legislation as a substitute amendment to ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot and participate in our great democracy,” he explained, adding:

Over the past month, I have worked to eliminate the far reaching provisions of S.1, the For the People Act – which I do not support. I’ve found common ground with my Democratic colleagues on a new version of the bill that ensures our elections are fair, accessible, and secure.

Schumer told reporters about the deal, excited to show party unity.

“I’m pleased to report that Sen. Manchin and I have come to an agreement. He came to my office, oh, about two hours ago, and we worked it out,” Schumer said.

Senate Republicans are likely to stand firm on Tuesday and defeat the federal election takeover legislation through which Democrats seek to cancel state voter ID laws and publicly fund political campaigns.

But Republicans, dubbing the legislation purely a “partisan power grab” by the Democrats “to rig the rules of American elections permanently” in their favor, seem poised to block any discussion of the measure through the filibuster.

In order to advance the legislation, Democrats would need ten Republicans to vote with them.

A Monday poll by Monmouth University suggested 80 percent of the public supports requiring a form of ID before a person can vote. The poll found only 18 percent oppose such policies.


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