Joe Manchin Throws Cold Water on Schumer’s Plans to Bypass the Filibuster

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Senator Joe Manchin (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

“If the filibuster is eliminated or budget reconciliation becomes the norm, a new and dangerous precedent will be set,” Manchin writes.

On Monday, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the press that the Senate parliamentarian had issued a ruling that would give Democrats at least one extra shot at passing a bill with a simple majority under rules governing the budget-reconciliation process.

Typically, the Senate has been able to pass one reconciliation bill per fiscal year that isn’t subject to the usual 60-vote threshold for legislation in the Senate. The $1.9 trillion “COVID relief” bill that Congress passed in March was using the budget for fiscal year 2021 (which ends September 30). We already knew that, under usual practice, Democrats would get another shot this calendar year at passing a reconciliation bill for fiscal year 2022. But if Schumer’s spokesman is accurately relaying what the Senate parliamentarian has said, then Senate Democrats can go back and revise the already-passed fiscal year 2021 budget-reconciliation bill.

One big question—to which no one seems to have a definitive answer—is how many times the Senate can go back and revise it. Can they pass a reconciliation bill focused on infrastructure? And then one on health-care? And another on the environment? And so on and so forth?

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Again, it’s not clear. It’s also not clear that congressional Democrats would get much more by taking a piecemeal approach rather than by stuffing whatever they agree on in one big reconciliation bill.

But even if the Senate parliamentarian would effectively allow as many budget reconciliation bills as Schumer wants, Joe Manchin might not. 

Schumer would almost certainly still need the support of every single Democrat in the 50-50 Senate to pull off a multiple-reconciliation bill strategy, but Manchin writes in a new Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday night that such a strategy would set a “dangerous precedent.”

“There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin writes. “If the filibuster is eliminated or budget reconciliation becomes the norm, a new and dangerous precedent will be set to pass sweeping, partisan legislation that changes the direction of our nation every time there is a change in political control. The consequences will be profound — our nation may never see stable governing again.”

The West Virginia Democrat just voted for a sprawling reconciliation bill in March—and he’s not saying he’s opposed to another one—but he seems to be dashing Democratic hopes of passing several separate reconciliation bills this year.

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5 Comments

  1. That’s all well & good. I had some faith as to his intentions, but since hearing Joe Manchin’s wife was appointed to some Appalachian committee in their home state by Biden, I don’t feel as warm & fuzzy. Her new salary would double what both of them make annually. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Or no such thing with Dems?

    1. No it is not a conflict at all. Women are allowed to make as much or more as men. Many women are very highly qualified, and I suspect her appointment was based on a deep knowledge of WVA as well as being highly qualified by work and educational experience. By the way, Majority leader McConnell’s wife was Secretary of Transportation under President Trump. So were you warm and fuzzy about that? Did you think it was a conflict of interest then?

      1. I agree with you about many women being highly qualified for positions of power, however i do have a question for you. You don’t think it’s possible she got a few extra consideration points because of her husbands position? For you too just disregard the possibility is pretty blind. Not that it matters.

      2. TLC,

        All of what you say about women, salaries, Manchin’s wife’s qualifications and political appointments is true. The problem is that you stopped with a false flag rhetorical question to which you certainly already knew the answer.

        In 1989 Chao started her political career when she was appointed the deputy secretary of transportation under George H.W. Bush. She held that role until 1991 when Bush Sr. appointed her director of the Peace Corps and the following year she became President of the United Way. In other words, McConnell’s wife a very experienced political appointee with broad support from both sides of the aisle.

        Finally, she was appointed immediately to Trump’s cabinet as opposed to at the exact time Schumer needed her husband’s support for a majorly controversial issue with egregiously harmful consequences like, say, I don’t know…whether or not to remove the filibuster or to pervert the budget reconciliation clause. Now, close your piehole, the adults in the room are speaking.

  2. When will people wake Up?

    The Democrats are on the march to destroy America so they can tax the hell out of you and turn Our Great Nation into a 3rd World Cesspool. Just Like China is today they will take their payoffs until America is destroyed and it’s all for their profits being handed out by Russia, Iran and China.

    Look at just how much they care about Americas. by Judicial Watch / If you liberal idiots think it not coming to your town you truly are ST……….!

    Maryland Opens “Special Clinic” to Give Latinos COVID-19 Vaccines in Biggest Counties.

    While many Maryland residents wait patiently to receive their government-funded COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s two biggest counties—both illegal immigrant sanctuaries—have launched a “special clinic” to inoculate 600 Latinos a week.

    The exclusive operation will be stationed at the Adventist HealthCare facility in Takoma Park, which is situated in Montgomery County, Maryland’s most populous.

    The shots will also be offered to Latinos who live in nearby Prince George’s County. Recipients will be “preselected” by an area open borders group, Casa de Maryland, and a Latino Health Initiative launched by Montgomery County two decades ago.

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