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Bait and Switch: Manchin Teases Out ‘Rule Changes’ to Make Senate ‘Work Better’ After Biden’s Big Speech



President Joe Biden delivered one of the most powerful and authentic speeches of his nascent presidency on Tuesday in Georgia, urging passage of critical voting rights legislation including a carve of the filibuster to allow a simple majority vote on the two bills.

In response, just hours later Senator Joe Manchin – likely one of just two in the President’s own party preventing Democrats from having a majority on eliminating the 60-vote super-majority threshold needed for passage of voting rights legislation – pulled something of a “bait and switch” in a Senate hallway interview.

Asked about gutting the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation the West Virginia Senator and millionaire coal magnate at first appeared supportive.

“The filibuster is what we have our rules,” Manchin told intrepid CBS News reporter Scott MacFarlane.

“We need some good rule changes to make the place work better,” he continued, but then added, “but getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better.”

And in case anyone had any hope his “rule changes” allusion might lead to temporarily pausing the 60-vote filibuster, the West Virginia Democrat added that, in his view, “the filibuster is what makes the Senate hopefully work.”

“We need some good rule changes and we can do that together” with Republicans, he continued. He added that it would take two-thirds of the Senate to enact rules changes, a threshold rarely met on today’s near-civil war Capitol Hill.

And then, to ensure he was not misunderstood, Manchin, in direct confrontation with President Biden, added falsely: “Getting rid of the filibuster does not make the Senate work better.”


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