A scathing editorial from the Washington Post Editorial Board ripped Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for saying nothing but “no” around the voting rights legislation that they claim to oppose.
Manchin has said that he supports the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but doesn’t support the For The People Act, which deals with partisan gerrymandering and minor campaign finance exposure rules. The Board said that Manchin and Murkowski owe it to their states and the American people to explain what they will support and why. The “just say no” approach won’t work anymore.
“Yet H.R. 1 also contained many provisions to which no lawmaker committed to democracy should object, such as early voting or streamlined voter registration,” the Board explained. “Mr. Manchin and Ms. Murkowski should specify which of those they oppose, and why, and import the ones they do not oppose into the John Lewis Act. They should also consider provisions that would prevent state legislatures or Congress from overturning electoral results.”
Manchin has demanded that all legislation be bipartisan in nature, but that request only seems to be a new rule for him, as he previously did with the Affordable Care Act and the COVID stimulus.
“Even an unamended John Lewis Act faces long odds. Some Republican senators are already claiming that the bill is ‘too much too soon’ and a ‘backdoor’ H.R. 1, absurd arguments given that it would mostly restore a preclearance system that worked well for decades,” said the Board. “There may not be substantial numbers of GOP senators willing to vote for any bill that would protect Americans’ voting rights. Mr. Manchin, Ms. Murkowski and other lawmakers must still try — even if all they do is force their recalcitrant colleagues to go on the record opposing what should be a noncontroversial act, and expose just how hostile the GOP has become to the principle that all Americans should have access to the ballot box.”