Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Monday used his most direct words to date in expressing opposition to killing the Senate filibuster.
"I do not support doing away with the filibuster under any condition. It's not who I am," Manchin told reporters in the Capitol, per The Hill.
Manchin's comments were the latest indication Democrats didn’t have the votes necessary to end the 60-vote legislative filibuster. Progressive groups, and an increasing number of chamber Democrats support the idea.
The Senate cloture rule requires 60 members to end debate on most topics and move to a vote.
The "nuclear option" requires just 51 votes to override a standing rule of the Senate. With the two parties split 50-50 in the chamber, the Dems would need all its caucus members and Vice President Kamala Harris, who as the Senate president, to cast a tiebreaking vote.
Several Democrats, however, have signaled apprehension to changing the Senate rules.
Manchin indicated there was no timeline where, if Republicans blocked legislation, he would change his mind about the filibuster. He added he thought GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. could "make it work."
"I am not for busting the filibuster," he said.
Democrats will be forced to use reconciliation, a limited budget tool that allows tax and spending bills to pass by a simple majority, to get some bills approved with the filibuster in place.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., also has been viewed as opposed to killing the filibuster.
After The Washington Post incorrectly suggested Sinema might be open to doing away with the filibuster, her office said Monday that she was still not supportive of ending the legislative tool.
Sinema was "against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster," a spokesperson told the Post.
The filibuster's fate has been a hot topic since McConnell insisted the Senate's organizing resolution include an agreement on preserving it — something that brought power-sharing talks with Schumer to a halt.
Democrats have rejected McConnell's demand to include language in the organizing resolution.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, suggested statements from Manchin and Sinema could make it less important that a power-sharing deal include a provision for the filibuster.
"It sounds to me like there's some progress being made, with some of the statements that are being made by Sen. Sinema and others," Cornyn said. "So, I'm a little bit more optimistic that that will get worked out."
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