June 8, 2021 | From West Virginia Gazette Mail
In a direct answer to your prayers, Senator Joe Manchin announced in an op-ed published Sunday that he will vote AGAINST S.1/HR.1 (“For the People Act”). IFA asked you to pray and act on this bill which proposes to make permanent the types of voting practices that were introduced during the 2020 elections because of COVID—the very practices that caused great issues with fraud and confusion. IFA intercessors sent more than 82,000 messages and prayed at least that many times. Here is an excerpt from Senator Manchin’s opinion editorial:
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. . . .
Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.
Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?
The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.
With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past. . . .
Our founders were wise to see the temptation of absolute power and built in specific checks and balances to force compromise that serves to preserve our fragile democracy. The Senate, its processes and rules, have evolved over time to make absolute power difficult while still delivering solutions to the issues facing our country and I believe that’s the Senate’s best quality.
Yes, this process can be frustrating and slow. It will force compromises that are not always ideal. But consider the alternative. Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? I have always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.” And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda. . . .
I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.