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AP Photo/Susan Walsh So says Rolling Stone , which reports that the president has told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he’s ready to start lobbying moderate Democrats like Joe Manchin to support “reforming” the filibuster in order to pass the “For The People Act”; a sweeping bill that, in the words of the Wall St. Journal , would “grease the Democratic voting machine nationwide and restrict political opposition.”
According to Rolling Stone , Biden has gone so far as to tell Schumer, “Chuck, you tell me when you need me to start making phone calls.” Publicly, there are two centrist Democrats who have stated their opposition to changing or abolishing the filibuster, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Activist groups and fellow Democratic senators say Manchin and Sinema are the likely 49th and 50th votes both on any voting-rights legislation and especially any filibuster reforms. Sources say both senators are likely targets for when Biden launches his final push to pass a compromise version of the For the People Act. “I think there’s a clear recognition the president will have a role to play in bringing this over the finish line, and if in order to do that, we need [filibuster] rules reform, then so be it,” says Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who helped write the original version of the For the People Act. “I think Joe Biden with his long history and experience in the Senate can see that.” The president might be willing to pick up the phone, but is Joe Manchin willing to listen? After all, Biden called Sen. Angus King of Maine to personally lobby him to support David Chipman’s nomination to the ATF, and we all know how that turned out. I don’t think Biden has much of a bully pulpit at the moment, what with his approval rating underwater and Democrats growing increasingly worried about a red wave election in 2022. And then there’s Manchin himself, who had this to say on CNN less than two months ago. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said he “can’t imagine” […]
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