Joe Manchin pours cold water on push to gut filibuster

Manchin’s view is important because Democrats can’t muscle through any rules changes without a unified caucus given that the chamber is divided 50-50 and all Republicans are likely to oppose such changes.

Manchin told CNN “yes,” he was drawing the line at maintaining the 60-vote threshold to defeat a filibuster, even as many in his caucus want to lower that threshold to 51 votes to make it easier to advance legislation on a party-line basis.

“I’m still at 60,” Manchin said. “That’s where I’m at. I haven’t changed.”

Manchin also rejected calls by proponents of gutting filibuster rules to require 41 senators to be present to sustain a filibuster.

“No, I’m still at 60. OK?” Manchin said, noting these “are all interesting” ideas.

Some Democrats have called for specific carve-outs from filibuster rules — such as voting rights or civil rights legislation – to allow those measures to be advanced by a simple majority in the Senate. But Manchin is not in favor of that, either, arguing that minority rights must be maintained.

“That’s a little bit like being pregnant — maybe,” he said of such an idea, an apparent reference to the saying “you can’t be half-pregnant.”

Manchin has been open to requiring senators to hold the floor and not simply threaten a filibuster silently, something that President Joe Biden endorsed on Tuesday. But he is clear that he won’t weaken Republicans’ power to require a supermajority to advance legislation at the end of that process.

“I think the most encouraging thing was the President of the United States understands the importance of maintaining (the power) of the minority in the Senate.”

Source: CNNPolitics – Breaking News

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