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“It has to be blocked,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Who last week praised Manchin for “saving our country” by promoting non-partisanship. “I’m not optimistic that they could make enough changes to it to make it a fair bill. It would usurp the rights of states. “
The apparent blanket opposition from Republicans to negotiating and possibly changing Democratic legislation – as the most sweeping Senate vote would like – is bringing the suffrage debate into a new phase. Schumer told Democrats at a meeting on Thursday that the vote on the electoral law will take place on Tuesday, June 22, according to a source familiar with the session. This bill takes 60 votes to get through a filibuster.
Manchin had long sought an approach that the Republicans supported and could support, but it turned out that there was no way to find a bipartisan compromise on electoral legislation. He said his opposition was due not only to the lack of support from the GOP, but also because the Democratic changes to support public funding for elections, for example, went too far for him.
“You were confused and thought, ‘The only reason you are against it is because there are no Republicans.’ It is not at all. I think it should be bipartisan. I think it’s a dangerous thing to do something this monumental, ”Manchin said on Wednesday after introducing some of his changes. “The other thing is that there were some things that just didn’t make sense as a former foreign minister and governor.”
Murkowski has joined Manchin on a proposal to revive the voting rights law, but that legislation will wait until autumn. And that leaves Congress at a dead end, which infuriates progressives.
Manchin also belongs to a group of Democrats opposed to expanding the Filibuster to make changes to the electoral law, nor is it leaving a partisan roadmap in a 50-50 Senate where Democrats would need every single vote to make changes on the party lines. That group of filibuster repeal skeptics could shrink following the vote on the so-called For the People Act next week, with several Democrats saying the GOP’s rejection of that law could change their minds.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Who led the GOP’s opposition to the electoral law because of its federalized approach to state elections, said, “Each of us is working for opportunities to work with Senator Manchin.” But he added that “When Stacey Abrams immediately backed Senator Manchin’s proposal, it became the replacement for Stacey Abram, not the replacement for Joe Manchin.”
“I’m not against Joe. Joe does a great job of figuring out, ‘OK, where can I strike a balance?’ I have no problem with Joe, “said Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.).” That’s just, philosophically we don’t think we should do everything in every election. “
The massive wave of Republican opposition does not surprise most Democrats. Schumer said this week he was “confused” by those who believe a bipartisan solution is possible and expressed clear skepticism about Manchin’s hopes.
“I’m not that optimistic about the Republican votes,” said Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Who urged Manchin to substantiate his objections with the electoral law. “Only a handful of Republicans are voting for the bipartisan commission to analyze what happened on January 6th, I can’t imagine you will get any more than that for voting rights.”
Still, more work could be done behind the scenes. Earlier this week, Manchin and his Republican colleagues called an election meeting. And if a new law ever emerges from this, some of Manchin’s allies do not entirely rule out actions.
“When Joe Manchin leads an effort and brings a group together for bipartisan electoral reform, I’ll be happy to work on it or consider it,” Romney said. “But that hasn’t happened yet.”
Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.