- Sen. Joe Manchin reiterated his opposition to killing the filibuster in an op-ed Saturday.
- On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace pressed Manchin on his hopes for bipartisan cooperation.
- “Haven’t you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?” Wallace asked.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace pressed Sen. Joe Manchin Sunday over his strategy and hopes for bipartisanship in the Senate.
Democrats continue to express increasing interest in scrapping the filibuster, a rule that allows the minority party to block measures from being brought to a vote, but Manchin is one of the few standing in the way of his colleagues’ wishes.
The West Virginia Democrat has repeatedly said he does not support eliminating the rule and instead prefers passing bills with bipartisan consensus. He appeared on Fox News Sunday, during which Wallace asked him about his stance.
“If you were to keep the idea that maybe you would vote to kill the filibuster, wouldn’t that give Republicans an incentive to actually negotiate,” Wallace asked. “By taking it off the table, haven’t you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?”
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Manchin disagreed, saying there are “seven brave Republicans that continue to vote for what they know is right and the facts as they see them” and that he believes there are more that feel the same way, adding he sees “good signs.”
Wallace pointed out that Republicans did not support a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 Capitol insurrection and that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is “100%” focused on stopping President Joe Biden.
“Aren’t you being naive about this continuing talk about bipartisan cooperation?” Wallace said.
“I’m not being naive. I think he’s 100% wrong in trying to block all the good things that we’re trying to do for America,” Manchin responded, adding he believes McConnell puts politics before policies. “I’m going to continue to keep working with my bipartisan friends and hopefully we can get more of them.”
The appearance came on the heels of an op-ed written by the senator and published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Manchin used the piece to announce he won’t be voting in favor of the Democrats’ sweeping voting rights legislation, the For the People Act, calling it overly partisan.
“Some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past,” Manchin wrote.
The filibuster is a prolonged debate that can be used by the minority party to block a bill from going to a vote and can only be ended by a supermajority vote of 60 Senators.
The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.