Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) made it known over the weekend that he will not support the For The People Act, a voting rights bill that has the support of President Biden and every other Democratic senator… including Senator Joe Manchin, circa 2019.
As Business Insider pointed out on Tuesday, not only did Manchin support the For The People Act in 2019, he was a co-sponsor of the legislation that he’s now against. And to make matters worse, the only explanation the senator has given for his change of heart is the lack of bipartisan support for the bill. But, the need for agreement from across the aisle in 2019 didn’t seem to matter to Manchin then because, like today, not a single Republican senator backed the bill either time.
“Protecting [voting rights], which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner,” the senator wrote in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, a paper in his home state, on Sunday.
In the op-ed, the senator went on to tout his own history on the topic, reaching back to the work he claims he did as West Virginia’s secretary of state to expand voter rights. But while the senator compromised his present-day actions by blaming today’s “overtly politicized” environment, he never mentioned his support for the legislation only two years ago — when it would be tough to argue that the partisan landscape was any better.
Additionally mind-numbing, Manchin is ignoring what his constituents overwhelmingly want. Seventy-nine percent of West Virginia voters support the voting rights bill.
According to a May poll commissioned by End Citizens United and Let America Vote Action Fund and conducted by Global Strategy Group and ALG Research, the For the People Act is very popular among West Virginia voters. Overall 79 percent of West Virginia voters say they support the bill — including 76 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Independents.
Manchin quoted himself in the op-ed, writing, “I have always said, ‘If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ ”
By that logic, the senator needs to explain why he thought he could explain his 2019 support, but can’t or won’t today.