- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 8, 2021

Sen. Joseph Manchin III is making it crystal clear that he will not support scrapping the legislative filibuster - putting him at odds with liberal progressives and throwing a big hurdle in front of President Biden’s legislative wishlist.

The West Virginia Democrat said the filibuster “is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government.” 

“That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” he said in a Washington Post op-ed.

Mr. Manchin said it is time to “end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”

The legislative filibuster requires 60-votes for legislation to survive the Senate. Without it in place, bills could pass with the support of a simple majority of senators.

That would have made it easier for Democrats to pass legislation in the 50-50 Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.

But Mr. Manchin’s op-ed appears to be the final nail in the coffin of the public push to scrap it.

Opponents of the rule say it has been abused, preventing lawmakers from passing legislation that is popular with the American public, and adding to voter frustration over the lack of action from Congress.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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