On Sunday, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who will soon be the Senate Majority Leader and have control of the Senate, as the 50-50 tie in the Senate will give his party control with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris breaking any ties, stated that he was against eliminating the legislative filibuster, saying, “I’m basically for making this place work together. I don’t know if that works. I’d be no on that.”
Because of the filibuster, a minimum of 60 votes is needed to advance legislation; most Democratic proposals would require at least 10 GOP senators to agree in order for them to be passed. Eliminating the legislative filibuster would enable the Democrats to pass legislation with a simple majority vote.
The way the filibuster works is this: the minority party can keep debate open on a legislative issue until the Senate votes to close the issue, but to close the vote takes 60 votes. There are limitations on the filibuster: it cannot be used for certain budget bills, federal executive branch appointees and judicial appointments, including Supreme Court nominees.
Tapper also asked Manchin about statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Manchin replied he wanted “to see the pros and cons” before he made up his mind on the issue. Asked about a ban on some forms of semi-automatic weapons. Manchin did not give a specific answer, instead offering, “I’m not gonna eliminate people having their guns. They shouldn’t be scared to death of Democrats on the 2ndAmendment taking their guns away.”
The exchange between the two men went like this:
Tapper: It’s tough getting a senator to do a lightning round, but I have to ask you because we have less than a minute.
Manchin: Okay. Let’s do it.
Tapper: Eliminating the legislative filibuster. Yes or no?
Manchin: Oh, Jake, I’m basically for making this place work together. I don’t know if that works. I’d be no on that.
Tapper: So it’s a no. Statehood for Washington D.C.?
Manchin: I don’t know enough about that yet; I want to see the pros and cons, so I’m waiting to see all the facts. I’m open enough to see everything.
Tapper: Statehood for Puerto Rico?
Manchin: Same thing. I need more facts on that.
Tapper: What about a ban on some forms of semi-automatic weapons?
Manchin: Oh, Jake, there has to be responsibility in gun ownership; I’m not gonna eliminate people having their gun. They shouldn’t be scared to death of Democrats on the 2ndAmendment taking their guns away. I went to the shooting range yesterday, started practicing again just to get back in shape. So no, we’re not going to take people’s guns away, but there is (sic) things that we should not have in people’s hands.
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