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‘We Have Evolved’: Manchin Grilled During Interview About His Recent Change In Tune On The Filibuster

   DailyWire.com
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, speaks to members of the media while departing a bipartisan Senate luncheon in Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. President Biden's imperative of swiftly passing his $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief program faces one of its final hurdles, settling disputes among Senate Democrats over how to ensure aid gets to those who truly need it.
Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was grilled during an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Tuesday afternoon over his recent remarks about being open to change the filibuster to make it more “painful” to use.

Baier played a clip of Manchin saying last month that he would not vote to change the filibuster. Baier then played a clip of Manchin saying the following during a Fox News interview on Sunday:

The filibuster should be painful, 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.

When asked what he meant by his remark, Manchin said, “Well, you have to look at everything you can because we have evolved and from evolving is this: I will never foresight my belief that the minority should have input, they should be involved in this process. And reconciliation does not give them much chance. I’ve been on the minority in in the majority, Bret. And I can tell you, the Senate was designed for the minority’s input.”

When asked if there was any nuance in his remarks, Manchin said, “There’s so many different ways you can look at that. You can look at it as what’s the pain. You had Jimmy Stewart what Mr. Smith Comes to Washington, this talking filibusters, you had that. You had other things to where people had to be present, when they basically announced that they were going to filibuster. And it had to be the pain of being there, not just saying it from your office and calling down saying, I’m against that, and let the good times roll because you don’t have to be present. So many things that we can do. But you have to give the minority the ability to object or involve themselves.”

Manchin said that he was not talking about lowering the lowering the 60-vote threshold and that “everybody’s seeing what they want to see.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: The other thing we talked about back in February 2 was the filibuster and where you stood. Here’s what you said to me.

[START VIDEO]

BAIER: Two much questions here. One under what conditions would you vote to end the filibuster?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I don’t think there is any.

BAIER: Sinema and yourself, you’re both public, but are there other Democrats that you know of that would not vote to bust up the filibuster?

MANCHIN: I sure do. I think there is, I really do.

[END VIDEO]

BAIER: Alright, so then this weekend, you told “Fox News Sunday” this about the filibuster.

[START VIDEO]

MANCHIN: The filibuster should be painful, 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.

[END VIDEO]

BAIER: So what does that mean?

MANCHIN: Well, basically … Well, you have to look at everything you can because we have evolved and from evolving is this: I will never foresight my belief that the minority should have input, they should be involved in this process. And reconciliation does not give them much chance. I’ve been on the minority in in the majority, Bret. And I can tell you, the Senate was designed for the minority’s input.

BAIER: No nuance in your statement? Is there nuance in that answer?

MANCHIN: There’s so many different ways you can look at that. You can look at it as what’s the pain. You had Jimmy Stewart what Mr. Smith Comes to Washington, this talking filibusters, you had that. You had other things to where people had to be present, when they basically announced that they were going to filibuster. And it had to be the pain of being there, not just saying it from your office and calling down saying, I’m against that, and let the good times roll because you don’t have to be present. So many things that we can do. But you have to give the minority the ability to object or involve themselves.

BAIER: But still 60 votes?

MANCHIN: Yes.

BAIER: You’re not taking it down or lowering the bar?

MANCHIN: No, no, no. I am not and will not on that no 60 vote. But there’s different ways to get to that 60 vote. And if people have to make sure that they’re willing to to show them and it’d be great, don’t you think if someone was down there telling you why they’re objecting, if I was in the minority, I’m telling you, I’m rejecting this objecting to something that the majority wants and I should be able to speak to that.

BAIER: I’ll just say Senator, different people hear different things in what you’re saying here and you know, is there something like specific issues that you drop the filibuster and others that you don’t? Or are you kind of saying this your deal, 60 votes?

MANCHIN: The only way you drop the filibuster is when you go to reconciliation, budget reconciliation. And then if you got rid of the Byrd rule, you would really let caution to the wind, we have not done that. The parliamentarian rule, when they rule, that’s what we’re going to protect that rule from parliamentarian, that protect the Byrd rule, so they can’t come around the back and get rid of the filibuster. The 60 vote filibuster is something that we believe in. And they’re saying, well, you know, it’s not always been 60. It was 67 at one time, it was a standing, basically, debate filibuster, so many different ways. But right now we have a 60 vote threshold. And I haven’t seen anything that would improve on allowing the minority to participate, I want to make sure the minority can participate.

BAIER: Here’s how The Atlantic put it. “The trend in the Senate is to make exceptions to the filibuster rule, rather than to eliminate it. If an essential bill comes along and Manchin wants it to pass, an exception can be carved out to fit the circumstances and get the job done. Politically, this path is typical of Manchin because it keeps his options open. With no filibuster, Manchin might have to be the 50th-vote power that commentators are so eager to assign him but he would also be on the spot for every bill. With the filibuster still nominally enforced, the GOP can do all the work on his right flank while he appeals for consensus.” So again, it seems like democrats are seeing some light here that they are going to open up some legislation, and you’re going to be on board.

MANCHIN: Everybody’s seeing what they want to see, I guess. I can’t explain why they’re reading into it that I am going to protect the filibuster. Why in the world do we have two senators for every state no matter if you got 40 million people in your state, or if you have 700,000 people, but you have the same representation? The Senate was designed, Bret, to be different, and we are different. Everybody has input, doesn’t matter how big you are, or what majority you’re in, the minority has to have input. And I’m going to protect that to the best of my ability. So I don’t know where they’re coming from and why they’re assuming so many different things. It’s not an envious position to be in. I can assure you, I didn’t lobby for this. And can you imagine if we ran the whole Senate based on a 50-50 tie right now, how horrible that would be?

BAIER: Well, I guess people, some of them look at what you said about being bipartisan on the COVID relief bill, and it didn’t happen and then you did bipartisan amendments, and you did this vote-a-rama and you did some bipartisan talking, but in the end, you voted for Chuck Schumer’s amendment that kind of erased everything that had happened before. I guess there’s some cynicism about the bipartisan action that you’re talking about.

MANCHIN: You’re talking on the first vote-a-rama we had?

BAIER: Exactly.

MANCHIN. Yeah, that was horrible what had happened. That is horrible what had happened and I told him, that’ll never happen again. I’ll never be in that position again where that happens and they do what they call a wraparound and scrub. No, no, no, you didn’t see that happening on the second one, did you?

BAIER: No.

MANCHIN: Well, okay. [Inaudbile], yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

BAIER: So you’re gonna stand firm?

MANCHIN: Oh, yes. Yeah, I think everybody knows that. I want to work with, I work on it Bret, we got to bring people together.

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