Democrats team up on Manchin: Schumer says ALL his Senators are telling the moderate that they will lose elections if they don’t kill the filibuster – and is sending in nine of them to ‘change his mind’
- A group of Democratic senators huddled with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Tuesday night
- Senators met with Manchin Wednesday morning
- It is the same pair of centrists who stalled Biden’s Build Back Better for months
- Schumer said senators are warning Manchin state election changes could doom them
- ‘They’re saying things like I’ll lose my election,’ Schumer told MSNBC
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer says fellow Democrats are telling Sen. Joe Manchin their own seats and party majority are at risk if the Senate doesn’t change its filibuster rules to counter state voting restrictions.
Schumer revealed the appeals to party and self interest Wednesday hours after a group of nine senators met with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in an effort to get her behind changes to the filibuster. Both have been holding out and standing by their opposition to ending it.
‘This is too important to just concede,’ Schumer told MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’
‘We are working there are constant meetings and not just among the few senators, but just about every senator – every single one of the 50 [other than Manchin and Sinema] is talking individually to Joe Manchin to Kyrsten Sinema – and they’re saying things like: “I’ll lose my election if the legislature is allowed to do this in my state.”
Schumer continued: ‘We lose our majority – but more importantly, we’ll lose our democracy. And those speakers yesterday that I mentioned were very powerful,’ he said.
Adding muscle to the effort, President Joe Biden plans to head to the Capitol Thursday to meet with senators and push changes to the filibuster. Biden on Tuesday in Atlanta called for changes to the Senate rules – but wasn’t specific about how.
‘Today I’m making it clear: To protect our democracy, I support changing the Senate rules, whichever way they need to be changed to prevent a minority of senators from blocking action on voting rights,’ Biden said.
Democrats are urging Sen. Joe to reconsider his opposition to ending the filibuster to deal with voting rights legislation. ‘They’re saying things like: “I’ll lose my election if the legislature is allowed to do this in my state,”‘ Majority Leader Charles Schumer said
Schumer was referencing the authors of the book How Democracies Die, who met with Democrats during their caucus meeting Tuesday. Harvard political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt met with Democrats on the day President Joe Biden made a pitch for voting rights legislation and making changes to Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster.
‘Last night for two and a half hours, nine senators of disparate ideologies and regions met with Senator Sinema,’ he said. He said nine were to meet with Manchin.
He observed that both were against eliminating the filibuster but held out hope for changes. ‘Now many in our caucus are for it. But even those who are not are for changes in the rules, and not for eliminating it totally. Even those who are not for eliminating and totally are for changes in the rules that allow us to pass voting rights,’ Schumer said.
Back under pressure: Democrats huddled with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) amid push to change the filibuster over a Republican blockade of voting rights legislation
Senators met with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) about the filibuster Tuesday night
President Biden called for changing Senate rules to move voting rights legislation. ‘Sadly, the United States Senate designed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body, has been rendered a shell of its former self,’ he said Tuesday in Atlanta
‘We’re actively discussing potential changes in the rules that hopefully can get all 50 of us there.’ But he also said he didn’t want to ‘delude’ people into thinking the votes were there for what he called in ‘uphill fight.’
Taking part in Tuesday’s meeting were Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Punchbowl News reported.
Schumer has vowed if the Senate does not act on voting rights legislation by Martin Luther King Day on Monday, he will bring up an action to force a change in Senate rules.
Such a move would require support for all 50 Democrats.
Schumer has yet to telegraph whether he would call up the Freedom to Vote Act or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which updates the Voting Rights Act after adverse court rulings.
The action came as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s body lay in state inside the Capitol Rotunda. Reid pushed through a change in the filibuster rule ending the filibuster for nominations other than for the Supreme Court.
Schumer may have worked in a reference to the filibuster in his eulogy to Reid, a former Capitol Police officer whom he called a ‘guardian and a steward of the Senate.’
‘He took great care of the Senate as an institution, but he also knew that the Senate had to adapt to changing time,’ said Schumer.