I knew there would be a lot of behind the scenes talks and movement on the For The People Act as the Senate gets ready to vote on the massive voting right bill next week, but I certainly didn’t expect so much of it to spill out into the media.
1 minute summary
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) unveiled a compromise bill of roughly two dozen reforms from the For the People Act that he would support. Stacey Abrams then came out and praised the bill. Shortly thereafter Mitch McConnell flatly objected to the bill. Then an audio of Manchin talking to a well-funded, middle-of-the-aisle organization (No Labels) about the filibuster, the January 6th commission, and infrastructure.
Details about Manchin’s compromise bill
Among the reforms that Manchin said he’d support were making Election Day a national holiday, mandating 2 weeks of early voting, requiring more disclosures of donations to campaigns, requiring states to notify voters if they move their polling location, and incredibly, banning gerrymandering.
He did also include a mandate that all states require voter ID, a clear attempt to attract Republican Senators to vote for the bill. But unlike restrictive Republican ID laws, Manchin has an expansive list of suitable IDs, plus standards that would make it impossible for a state to allow a gun license as an ID but not allow a student ID to be used. (Looking at you, Texas.)
Vox has a terrific article that delves more into the details here: Joe Manchin’s sweeping new voting rights proposal, explained
More about the leaked audio
I’m still processing what to think about the audio that leaked from the big donor event. I’ve only heard a short clip of it, and read the Intercept’s deep dive into what the audio reveals (which you can read HERE.) Some early takeaways from me:
- Manchin told the group he’d like to bring the January 6th Commission bill back up for a vote but needed their help convincing a few more Republicans to vote for it. (They were 4 votes short of the 60 vote threshold.) He also told them passing that bill with bipartisan support would prove to the “far left” that bipartisanship was possible, and could preserve the filibuster.
- However, he also talked openly about reforming the filibuster. He’s apparently considered several proposals, from lowering the threshold to 55 votes, to flipping the onus of getting votes to the minority party (i.e. instead of the majority party needing to get to 60 yes votes, the minority party would have to secure 40 no votes), and/or bringing back the talking filibuster.
My guess is that there will be people on the left who are incredibly angry about this audio, and others who might walk away more hopeful. I’ll be curious to hear from you all what your takeaway is. Again, the summary of the audio can be found HERE.
This is a good time to remind everyone that it isn’t over until it’s over. So, until they actually take a vote fort the For The People Act, we need to keep calling and pressuring our Senators to get these reforms passed.
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