Congressional Democrats’ massive voting reform bill, H.R. 1, also known as the “For the People Act,” may have hit a roadblock.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a key vote for Democrats in a split Senate, said Thursday that he has “legitimate concerns” about the bill, Breitbart reported.
“There are some legitimate concerns about the implementation of the For the People Act,” Manchin said in a statement. “As a former Secretary of State, I know, firsthand, the importance of local decision-making around voter accessibility and election security.”
Although he said there are “bipartisan proposals embedded in this bill that can strike the right balance,” he added that, “instead of arguing about the election reforms on which we disagree, Congress should be working together to enact those on which we can agree.”
As it stands, there appears to be virtually no agreement between Republicans and Democrats in Congress on H.R. 1.
The massive reform bill has already passed through the House by a vote of 220 to 210.
According to its critics, H.R. 1 would essentially make permanent the sort of rule changes the country saw in the 2020 election. For example, it eliminates many voter identification requirements, voter registration requirements, and restrictions on voting by mail. Furthermore, it does all of this at the federal level, taking decisions away from local governments.
“[H.R. 1] is clearly an effort by one party to rewrite the rules of our political system, but even more immediately, it would create an implementation nightmare. … This legislation would forcibly rewrite the election laws of all 50 states from here in Washington,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), according to Breitbart.
At the moment, with Senate Republicans firmly against H.R. 1, it seems unlikely that Senate Democrats could overcome the Senate filibuster.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), however, tweeted Thursday that “the Senate will pass the #ForThePeople Act.”
Democrats have also been pushing for the elimination of the filibuster as a means to pass this bill and other legislation in their radical Democratic agenda. Manchin, however, is one of the centrist Democrats who has stood in the way of this happening.
As long as Manchin doesn’t waver on his commitment that that Senate filibuster ought to remain, then H.R. 1 has little chance of being passed.