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Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) appears to have started to shift his views on the filibuster with remarks that he made on two news shows on Sunday morning.
The shift from Manchin comes after he has repeatedly stated that he would not vote to end the filibuster, despite pressure from the far-Left. During the interviews on Sunday, Manchin repeatedly claimed that he was not open to ending the filibuster because he did not want to strip the minority party of their power in the Senate, but signaled that he was open to changing it.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Manchin if he would consider “reforming the filibuster” if “Republicans just won’t go along with anything.”
“The filibuster should be painful,” Manchin said. “It really should be painful. And we’ve made it more comfortable over the years, not intentionally, [maybe] it just evolved into that. Maybe it has to be more painful. Maybe you have to stand there. There’s things we can talk about.”
“You would consider making it harder to invoke the filibuster so that you just don’t automatically have 60 votes that you need for any legislation?” Wallace pressed.
“I’d make it harder to get rid of the filibuster,” Manchin claimed. “I’m supporting the filibuster. I’m going to continue to support the filibuster. I think it defines who we are as a Senate. I’ll make it harder to get rid of it, but it should be painful if you want to use it. You should make sure the place works to where, okay, I want to work with you, how can we do this, how do we move forward?”
Left-wing TPM editor Josh Marshall tweeted out a clip of the interview and noted that Manchin is apparently adopting the talking points that leftists are pushing in their attempts to combat the filibuster.
“Key from Manchin. Filibuster reformers have been saying consistently that change will only come if it can be packaged as ‘saving’ the filibuster by ‘reforming’ it,” Marshall wrote. “And as you can see here that’s exactly where Manchin goes.”
Key from Manchin. Filibuster reformers have been saying consistently that change will only come if it can be packaged as "saving" the filibuster by "reforming" it. And as you can see here that's exactly where Manchin goes. pic.twitter.com/HbVUZKkQwe
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 7, 2021
Manchin also appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” where he was asked about the filibuster by host Chuck Todd.
Todd asked Manchin if he would support eliminating the filibuster to pass highly controversial election bills like H.R. 1.
“Now, if you want to make it a little bit more painful, make him stand there and talk, I’m willing to look at any way we can,” Manchin said. “But I am not willing to take away the involvement of the minority. I’ve been in the minority. I’ve been in the majority. And I can tell you, the respect I have on both sides when I’ve been there should be, ‘I’ve got something to say, listen to me,’ and I want that to happen.”
Ryan Grim, a far-left editor at The Intercept and contributor to the Young Turks, cheered Manchin’s remarks on “Meet The Press.”
“Huge development,” Grim said. “Manchin can support reforms of the filibuster — make them talk, etc — while removing the 60-vote threshold for a final vote, and still say that he did not end the filibuster. Hard to overstate how big this is.”
Huge development. Manchin can support reforms of the filibuster — make them talk, etc — while removing the 60-vote threshold for a final vote, and still say that he did not end the filibuster. Hard to overstate how big this is: https://t.co/thFPzyqfkV
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 7, 2021