By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Manchin is tying himself up in knots.
The West Virginia Democratic member of the U.S. Senate has become the Man of the Hour as his fellow Democrats wrestle with how to keep alive a comprehensive voter law.
Manchin is thought to be the most conservative member of the Senate Democratic caucus. Democrats need him to vote “yes” Tuesday on a procedural vote that keeps alive the For the People Act. The bill has zero Republican support. It needs all 50 Senate Democrats to sign on to send a message to the GOP caucus that Democrats also stand united in favor of a bill that seeks to protect against states’ efforts to roll back voter access to millions of Americans.
Former President Obama has signed on to a compromise offered by Manchin, which to my way of defining the term is the essence of “good government.” Manchin appears to be enjoying his role of go-to guy on this landmark legislation. He has said what he would support and what he would oppose.
A deadlocked Senate won’t break a GOP filibuster, but it does send a message that this notion isn’t going to wither and die just because Democrats can’t end a Republican filibuster.
So it falls on Sen. Manchin to vote “yes” on something that isn’t perfect in his mind. Then again, legislation that becomes law usually contains some elements that displease someone within the legislative branch of government.
I’m not exactly holding my breath on this one. I just want to wait along with the rest of the nation to see whether Joe Manchin keeps this key legislation alive.