- The Washington Times - Monday, January 25, 2021

A prominent pro-life ally of former President Donald Trump is mounting a six-figure ad campaign to get in the good graces of a key Democratic vote in the new Congress: Sen. Joe Manchin.

The Susan B. Anthony List said Monday it is spending $200,000 on radio and digital ads thanking the West Virginia Democrat for opposing the removal of the filibuster in the Senate.

An SBA List-aligned PAC opposed Mr. Manchin’s 2018 reelection on the grounds that he did not share its values, but SBA List has reversed course as the prospects of the group’s pro-life agenda becoming law have grown dim in the new Congress.

The Senate is divided 50-50 between Democrats and the GOP, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a crucial tie-breaking vote. Liberals have prioritized nuking the 60-vote filibuster threshold for much legislation to enact Democrats’ agenda, but Mr. Manchin has signaled he does not support the change.

“The pro-abortion extremists now controlling Washington want to eliminate the legislative filibuster so they can force taxpayer-funded abortions and expand the size of the Supreme court, filling it with pro-abortion justices,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, SBA List president, said in a statement. “Senator Joe Manchin, who represents the overwhelmingly pro-life state of West Virginia, has been the voice of reason in his party, urging the preservation of the filibuster. We thank him for his leadership and are mobilizing in West Virginia to ensure his constituents can thank him and encourage him to stand strong for their values.”

Mr. Manchin won reelection in 2018 over GOP challenger Patrick Morrissey, while SBA List‘s allies worked against Mr. Manchin. The SBA List-aligned Women Speak Out PAC ran ads showing Mr. Manchin voicing support for Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider, and imploring West Virginians to, “Vote no on Joe Manchin.”

On Monday, the SBA List announced the ad campaign championing Mr. Manchin alongside a grassroots phone-call campaign to show the group’s support as well.

“Thankfully, Senator Joe Manchin is standing strong for life, and protecting the Senate filibuster from the abortion extremists,” says a narrator in the 30-second digital ad over upbeat music. “Call Senator Manchin today, tell him to keep protecting life and our West Virginia values.”

While Mr. Manchin has opposed scrapping the filibuster, he has signaled a willingness to consider other aspects of Democrats’ liberal agenda. In an interview on CNN earlier this month, Mr. Manchin said he was “open” to adding two new states — Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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