Democrats have been negotiating for the right-leaning Democrat from West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin to amend the filibuster rule. They also want to pass voting rights legislation. But Democratic insiders say the process has been difficult — and one source even compared it to “negotiating via Etch A Sketch.”
Insiders shared their stories AxiosManchin has been inconsistent in negotiations, changing his mind about what he wants from a deal every day.
“You think you’re just about there. You think you’ve got an agreement on most of the things and it’s settling in. And then you come back the next morning and you’re starting from scratch,” the source said.
That same source described the talks with Manchin as being “like negotiating via Etch A Sketch,” referencing a children’s toy that erases itself at the slightest disturbance or shake.
Democrats are working to pass voting rights protections in time for the 2022 midterm elections. This is in an effort to prevent Republican-run state legislatures. preventing further disenfranchising voters across this country. But, Republican lawmakers have used the filibuster as a way to block major voting right bills In the past year, it was four times, including a Manchin-drafted version of the For the People Act; to allow such a law to pass without obstruction from the GOP, there must also be changes to the filibuster.
Even Democrats Promise to organize a vote on changing filibuster legislation later in the monthManchin is refusing to support the bill, claiming it is too partisan and would be detrimental to voting rights legislation. Manchin has said that he doesn’t want to support a voting rights bill unless the bill is bipartisan, a demand many in the Democratic Party have said is unreasonable.
“The 15th Amendment was not a bipartisan vote,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) said in an interview over the weekend. “It was a single-party vote that gave Black people the right to vote.”
Democrats are trying to convince Manchin to support them one of a few possible changes to the filibuster. In negotiations, they have discussed removing the filibuster requirement for all bills relating to voting rights; lowering the threshold needed for a cloture vote on a filibuster; and returning to a “talking filibuster,” which would Require senators to stand and speak continuously.
Most of the negotiations seem to involve three moderate membersthe Senate Democratic caucus, which was previously wary about changing filibuster rules. Sens. Sens.
Democrats have also tried to get Manchin to call their office directly, and have even managed to get big names to do the same. Per reporting from PoliticoFormer presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey have called Manchin to urge him to stop defending the filibuster as it is. Famed talk show host Oprah Winfrey has also reportedly called Manchin’s office to try to convince him that the filibuster isn’t worth defending if it means the right to vote is imperiled.