Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said yesterday that she believes the "old way of politics" influences Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) thinking.
“I do believe that that old way of politics has absolutely an influence in Joe Manchin’s thinking and the way he navigates the body,” Ocasio-Cortez told host Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union. The things that he cites, like this, I think, romanticism of bipartisanship, is about an era of Republicans that simply do not exist anymore,” the progressive lawmaker added. “And I think that the older-school way of accepting the role of lobbyists in Washington absolutely has a role in Joe Manchin's thinking.”
What's the controversy? Last week, Manchin, widely considered to be a moderate Democrat and a centrist, announced that he would vote against the progressive For The People Act. This piece of legislation would require states to offer mail-in voting, early voting and same-day voter registration.
Manchin wrote in an op-ed:
Congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.
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.
With Manchin refuses to back the legislation and the Democrats and Republicans being deadlocked with 50 Senators each, it appears the bill is doomed to die, which is the source of AOC's ire. The House passed the legislation back in March in a 220-210 vote.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) nevertheless said on Sunday that she feels optimistic about Manchin, who plays a pivotal role in the divided Senate, will change his decision to vote for the bill, adding that he “left the door open.”