Manchin tanks Democrats' hopes of going it alone on their sweeping agenda

Manchin tanks Democrats' hopes of going it alone on their sweeping agenda

With a 50-50 split Senate, Democrats can not afford to lose even one vote or else risk not getting legislation passed through.

Democrats face not only the 60-vote hurdle that will allow Republicans to block most bills, but they are also grappling with internal divisions that could stop Democratic lawmakers from ridding the Senate of the filibuster or otherwise circumventing GOP opposition on key legislation, including a significant election reform bill and a major infrastructure measure.

While Democrats believe the legislation is necessary to ensure pay equity, Republicans believe it is unnecessary and even harmful to workers and businesses. And, two, if he does bring it to the floor, will you vote against that bill?

"I don't want to be in a country that's divided any further", Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday".

WALLACE: So just to put a - a - a button on this, you will vote against that bill if it gets to the Senate floor? Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) wrote in an op-ed published Sunday in The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The biggest party test may come in July when Schumer plans to begin work on part one of President Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal.

"Congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward", Manchin wrote, and he echoed arguments that diverting attention from H.R. 1 toward H.R. 4, or the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (which would reauthorize and strengthen the original 1965 Voting Rights Act), is the way to do that.

During a phone call with the president Friday, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, the top Republican negotiator, proposed a new offer to increase about $50 billion in spending across a number of infrastructure programs, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"Aren't you being naive about this continuing talk about bipartisan cooperation?"

Manchin has for months opposed efforts to end the filibuster, but that seems to have only intensified liberal impatience to kill it.

"Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants?"

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