Sen. Joe Manchin will not be supporting the For The People Act, a sweeping voting rights bill, the West Virginia Democrat reiterated in a Sunday (June 6) article for The Charleston Gazette-Mail. Manchin defended his decision not to back the bill, which has drawn the ire of several politicians and activists within his own party.
In the op-ed article, Manchin criticized the For The People Act as bipartisan voting legislation, claiming it will “destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy.”
“The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner,” he added.
New York Rep. Mondaire Jones responded to the senator’s stance in a thread of tweets on Sunday.
“Manchin’s op-ed might as well be titled, ‘Why I’ll vote to preserve Jim Crow,’” he wrote in one.
“Actually, we’re arguing that we should pass necessary civil rights legislation that is bipartisan *among the people*. Just not with GOP politicians and the billionaires who bankroll them. By dooming our democracy in the name of bipartisanship, Senator Manchin is betraying both,” he wrote in another.
The Atlantic journalist Jemele Hill also trended on Twitter Monday afternoon (June 7) after reacting to Manchin’s argument and calling him a “clown.”
“This is so on brand for this country,” she wrote. “Record number of black voters show up to save this democracy, only for white supremacy to be upheld by a cowardly, power-hungry white dude.”
According to The Grio, the For The People Act would expand voting rights, make changes to change campaign funding and gerrymandering laws and more. Since he doesn’t support the legislation, Manchin instead suggested updating and passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would revisit major parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“I am encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights,” he added in his article.
According to CNN, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping to bring the For The People Act to the floor for a vote two weeks from now. However, the bill currently doesn’t have the 60 votes it would need to be passed into law.