Joe Manchin cosponsored the voting-rights bill in 2019 that he is now blocking on the grounds that the GOP doesn’t like it

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Sen. Joe Manchin cosponsored the voting-rights bill in 2019 that he recently announced he would vote against, arguing for a bipartisan bill instead. 

Manchin’s refusal to back the For The People Act has tanked Democrats’ ambitions of passing sweeping election reforms. The act narrowly passed the House in March with zero votes from Republicans.

As the Senate is evenly divided, relying on the tiebreaker vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, Manchin can block the passage of the bill single-handedly.

His opposition has infuriated many Democrats, who have spent the past days attacking his position.

New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman called him “the new Mitch McConnell,” in reference to the GOP senate minority leader known for his obstructionist tactics. 

Joe Manchin is the new Mitch McConnell.

His obstruction of President Biden’s agenda doesn’t serve the American people, Republican or Democrat. It serves corporate interests.

— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) June 7, 2021

Former communications director for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Tim Hogan, offered this, milder response:

Just going to bed thinking about how Joe Manchin sponsored the For the People Act in 2019.

— Tim Hogan (@timjhogan) June 8, 2021

In an op-ed for the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday, Manchin argued that he couldn’t support a voting rights bill that has no bipartisan support. 

But Manchin was a cosponsor of an earlier version of the bill introduced in 2019, which had no GOP cosponsors, a fact that his critics have highlighted.

In March that year — when Democrats did not have a majority in the Senate — Manchin joined 45 others in the effort led by Sen. Jeff Merkley to pass the act.

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In his op-ed on Sunday, Manchin didn’t comment on whether he had changed his mind about the content of the bill, but focused on its political support in the Senate.

“Today’s …read more

Source:: Businessinsider

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