West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) proved yet again Sunday that he’s a Democrat in name only (DINO), and will continue to stand in the way of much-needed legislation on issues such as increasing the minimum wage because he says he doesn’t want to do anything that would inconvenience his many Republican “friends” in the U.S. Senate.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin was asked the following question by host Chris Wallace:
“Would you consider, if the Republicans just won’t go along with anything, reforming the filibuster? For instance, the filibuster doesn’t apply now to either budget rules — that’s why you have this reconciliation on budget issues — or to nominations. Would you consider extending exemptions to other issues or would you consider going back to the old filibuster, sort of like ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ and Jimmy Stewart, where you want to filibuster? It’s not an automatic 60 votes, you’ve got to stay on the Senate floor and keep talking.”
The senator responded:
“The filibuster should be painful. It really should be painful. We’ve made it more comfortable over the years. Not intentionally. It just evolved into that. Maybe it has to be more painful. Maybe you have to stand there. There’s things that we can talk about.”
Yet with his very next breath, Manchin made it clear he has no intention of supporting reform of the filibuster:
“Whenever you take away in the Senate the ability for the minority, whoever it may be, Democrats or Republicans, to have input — why do you have two senators in Rhode Island or two senators in New York or California? Why is there one body that treats everyone hopefully — the ability to intervene, the ability to be involved, the ability to represent no matter how large or small.
“That’s so a big person doesn’t take advantage of a smaller person. That’s what this is all about.”
Actually, it’s about getting things done for the American people, which is what Manchin was elected to do in the first place.
Wallace pressed, asking:
“But just to be clear. You would consider making it harder to invoke the filibuster so that you just don’t automatically have 60 votes that you need for any legislation?”
That’s when Manchin called Senate Republicans his friends:
“I’d make it harder to get rid of the filibuster. I’m supporting the filibuster. I’m going to continue to support the filibuster. It think it defines who we are as a Senate. I’ll make it harder to get rid of it but it should be painful if you want to use it.
“My Republican friends are my friends. They are not my enemies. My Democrats is [sic] my colleagues. They’re not my enemy either. That’s my caucus. Together, we’ve got to make this place work. And it should be harder to invoke pain, it should be painful for us. Don’t make it painful for the other side.”
Here’s a suggestion for Sen. Manchin: If the Republicans are your “friends,” why don’t you caucus with them and stop pretending to be a Democrat? Better yet, shouldn’t you retire and go back home to West Virginia? You’re certainly not doing a damn bit of good in the Senate.
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