Time is fast running out as Democrats try to pressure their party mate Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), in an attempt to determine what filibuster changes can be passed in a 50-50 Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s move to force a vote on changes to the rules sets Democrats on a high profile clash with their fellow senators. This effort is acknowledged by the New York Democrat as a difficult mountain to climb.
Under pressure from both their colleagues and other groups, the Democrats have promised to resolve the matter in just a few days. They are urgently trying to conclude the negotiations with their conservative counterparts in order to bring clarity to the issue.
“Manchin has said all along that he wants to deal with Republicans and we have all been very patient. I believe he knows that we will not get any Republican cooperation,” Schumer told reporters.
As part of a long outreach effort to reach Manchin, a group of Democrats who have led the voting rights and rules discussions met Tuesday afternoon with Schumer.
Regardless of whether Democrats have the necessary 50 votes to implement the nuclear alternative. Democrats are moving forward with the rules-change vote, which will allow them to modify the rules by themselves.
Schumer will call a vote on the Senate floor and force his members to record the vote, shining a light on intraparty splits.
Manchin is not the only Democratic senator to have refused to sign on to legislative filibuster changes. Sen. Kyrsten Silema (D-Arizona) has also expressed her support for the 60-vote obstacle. However, Democrats who work on voting rights have largely focused their efforts on Manchin.
“There have been constant and just about every senator has been talking to both senators — to Senator Manchin and to Senator Sinema about how important these issues are, not only to our caucus, to our country. Senators are going up to them and saying, ‘I’ll lose my election if they — you allow these changes to occur,’” Schumer said.
After starting in 2021 when Democrats regained the majority, filibuster reform supporters have been slowly making progress in the Senate Democratic caucus. Many senators were either opposed or lukewarm about any changes to the 60-vote filibuster.
They have slowly reduced the number of members on-the-fence since then. Advocates see Sinema and Manchin as the last roadblocks.
In an interview with CNN’s New Day, Schumer argued that voting rights were too important for Democrats to let Sinema and Manchin off the hook in the filibuster debate.