The For the People Act and D.C. statehood are two of many bills that Democrats want to pass into law with just their votes alone.
For the People Act would remove states’ power to manage and run their own elections; meanwhile, attempting to make Washington D.C. a state is something that can only happen via an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, not via congressional legislation.
Every single GOP senator is opposed to the aforementioned bills. The above legislation is also subject to the filibuster. Democrats know that since they cannot get ten GOP senators on board with D.C. statehood and For the People Act, neither will pass with the filibuster in place.
However, it turns out that even in a hypothetical scenario where the filibuster were eliminated, Democrats still wouldn’t have the votes to pass the aforementioned legislation.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, is not only against ending the filibuster, but also confirmed earlier this week that he won’t vote for H.R. 1 or D.C. statehood, per Breitbart News.
The Tie-Breaking Vote in the U.S. Senate
Since the Senate has a 50/50 divide, if Democrats do not have Manchin’s support on their bills, it’s essentially game over. Yesterday, during a MetroNews interview, the West Virginia Democrat noted that the Constitution’s 23rd Amendment grants D.C. residents voting rights and representation in the Electoral College.
Senator Joe Manchin reading a pocket Constitution while Biden speaks.
This is all of us. pic.twitter.com/9gB1I645AE
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 29, 2021
After pointing this out, Manchin noted that he’s consulted with legal scholars and subsequently concluded that Americans would have to actually vote on D.C. statehood. In other remarks, the Democrat senator also broke from his party, publicly opposing H.R. 1. Manchin declared that he won’t vote in favor of the For the People Act in its current form.
This news dealt a death blow to leftist bills yesterday. Granted, Sen. Manchin and a small minority of other Democrats in the Senate oppose ending the filibuster; however, Manchin is the only Democrat to openly oppose H.R. 1 and D.C. statehood bills.
Without Manchin, Democrats simply don’t have the votes to get these pieces of legislation into law.
Reactions from the Political Left
Democrats are irate that Manchin isn’t backing For the People Act and D.C. statehood. On Friday, triggered leftists took to social media to vent.
It's the only way forward for Dems. With Manchin holding so much power, he needs to be made irrelevant.
— Mark Lewis (@MarkLew81891764) May 1, 2021
Some stated that Manchin is a closet Republican; others declared that Democrats need to win more Senate seats in 2022 in order to dilute the current power of Manchin’s vote.
What do you think about Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to break from his party on D.C. statehood and H.R. 1? Let us know in the comments section below.