Joe Manchin is very supportive of any solution to the debt limit crisis that doesn’t bother his dear friend, filibuster.
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Amid all the turmoil among Democrats over obstruction, the main instrument of Republican obstruction, there has been an underlying stream of hope. The idea was that a scandalous act of disrespect for the GOP, or an accumulation of multiple outrages, could topple Democratic advocates of filibuster like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and produce 50 votes to reform or even abolish the delaying tactics.
Well, I think we’ve just seen some pretty clear proof that Manchin, at least, is irreversible. After a meeting of Democratic senators in which some sort of filibuster to avoid a default that could crush the U.S. economy in just 12 days was under discussion, Manchin dropped the same old hammer on the idea, as Hill reports:
“I have been very, very clear on my position on filibuster. Nothing changes, ”Manchin told a group of reporters outside his Senate office.
Manchin’s comments come as the idea of a debt ceiling exemption from legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most laws, has gained momentum within the Democratic Senate caucus.
West Virginia had previously indicated that it supported the use of budget reconciliation to lift the debt limit in a party line vote, which of course has been the Republican position since July. Other Democrats have insisted that Republicans provide enough votes to pass an increase or suspension of the debt limit, or simply refuse to filibuster such a measure. The only thing Manchin added to his earlier statements today was another predictable call to leaders on both sides to come together and act like “adults” instead of creating an “artificial crisis”.
Guess it’s possible that Manchin got wind of an offer from Mitch McConnell to ease the path to reconciliation for Democrats via a short-term fixed dollar increase in the debt limit (tucked away, of course, in insults):
But he’s more likely to just confirm that even a devastating financial crisis isn’t big enough to justify playing obstructionist good friend with his, which, after all, has greatly boosted his own power. No one should now believe that he is going to betray the systematic obstruction for trifles like the right to vote. Sorry, Democrats.