Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin will vote against the Democrats’ election bill, the For the People Act, calling it “the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together.”
During an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Manchin confirmed his vote against the bill, citing an op-ed he wrote for the Charleston Gazette-Mail that laid out his concerns on the legislation.
“I think it’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I’m not supporting that because I think it would divide us further. I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further than I’m in right now. I love my country, and I think my Democrat and Republican colleagues feel the same,” he told Wallace.
“I think there’s a lot of great things I agree in that piece of legislation, but there’s an awful lot of things that basically don’t pertain directly to voting,” he added.
In the op-ed, titled “Why I’m voting against the For the People Act,” Manchin said that protecting the right to vote should not be done in a partisan manner, adding that it has become overly politicized.
“Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage,” he wrote. “Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.”
The For the People Act, which would allow same-day voter registration, curtail voter ID requirements, and change campaign laws to curb the influence of outside spending on elections, passed in the House without Republican support.
The bill faces a similar fate in the Senate unless by late June Democrats become so frustrated that they make a move to eliminate the filibuster and the 60-vote threshold, a move Manchin is also against.
The West Virginian senator has repeatedly criticized the bill and in May, teamed up with Alaskan Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, to call on top lawmakers to take up a bipartisan reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act as an alternative.
Original Author: Callie Patteson