First, I want to remind folks what is in this bill. This is a critical issue to Democrats and was part of President Biden’s agenda when he was running for office.
This is the For the People Act, is what it’s called. It’s the title of the bill. Sometimes, people say S.1 or H.R.1 What’s in it? Well, this contains provisions that would expand early voting and registration across the country in federal elections. It would block states from doing some of the things they’re doing now, like voter purges. It would make it tougher for them to do those things.
It would also end partisan gerrymandering. So, this is a broad bill. And it would make that large donors would have to disclose themselves publicly, campaign finance.
Now, it is a big bill. It is something that is obviously very critical right now, as we see rising in this country both sides talking about democracy and voting rights and what’s happening at this moment. In comes Joe Manchin. He would be the 50th vote that Democrats would have for this in the Senate. They have 49.
And here’s what he said in his op-ed saying why he opposed it. He wrote: “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy. And for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act.”
Notable, he did not have any substantive problems with the bill that he raised. Instead, he said, the issue is there are no Republicans on board. Democrats, of course, have a real problem with that. They say, we think Republicans are going to play games here and block this bill.
But the bottom line, Judy, at this time, this Manchin decision is a body blow to this legislation. It is not dead yet, but it is in real trouble. It’s unclear if, when Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, will bring it back up.