Manchin's stances are not new. He is the single Democrat in the Senate who is not a co-sponsor of Democrats' elections bill, titled the "For the People Act." And notwithstanding appearing to waver on his opposition to filibuster changes earlier this year, he's since dug in against any changes to the minority protection in the upper chamber.
Though his remarks in a Charleston Gazette-Mail op-ed Sunday and in a "Fox News Sunday" interview prompted repeated outrage from progressive Democrats who want to push ahead on a wide range of legislation, including the elections bill, without consulting Senate Republicans.
The For the People Act, numbered S.1 in the Senate, would dramatically increase the federal government's position in elections. It would ban states from demanding photo ID to vote; raise limits for states to clear voter rolls; require states to offer drop boxes 45 days before an election, and much more.
One provision Republicans say is particularly unfair would change the Federal Election Commission (FEC) from a six-member body with three members from each party to a five-member body with two from each party and a fifth person unassociated with either party yet picked by the president. Democrats maintain this would allow the FEC to more effectively do its job while Republicans say it would put the president's party at an advantage.
Although notwithstanding the debate over many S.1 provisions, Democrats say the Senate wants to end the filibuster and pass it in order to combat GOP-backed election security laws being passed in states.
"389 bills introduced in 48 states to prevent Americans from voting. 14 of them have already passed, including one in TX that banned ‘souls to the polls’ led by Black churches," Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., tweeted. "If this isn't enough for @Sen_JoeManchin to support #ForThePeopleAct then he's the one being partisan."
"Manchin’s op-ed might as well be titled, 'Why I’ll vote to preserve Jim Crow,'" Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., tweeted. "If there aren’t 10 Republicans willing to investigate an insurrection that almost claimed their lives, there aren’t 10 Republicans willing to protect the right to vote."
"The Republican Party has launched an unprecedented war on American democracy in which shamefully they are now being aided and abetted by at least two Democratic senators… Joe Manchin thinks voting is fundamental. He says voting is fundamental. But he doesn't want to do what needs to be done to save it," MSNBC's Medhi Hasan stated.
"Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy and to stop our work for the people," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.