Former President Donald Trump on Monday praised West Virginia's Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin for "doing the right thing" and opposing an end to the Senate filibuster — a move that would allow Democrats to more easily push through legislation in the evenly divided Senate.
In an interview on "Varney & Co." on the Fox Business Network with host Stuart Varney, Trump called Manchin's opposition — despite pushback from his own party — "a very important thing."
"He's doing the right thing and it's a very important thing," Trump told Varney, a transcript of the interview showed. "Otherwise you're packing the [Supreme] Court, you're doing all sorts of very, very bad things that were unthinkable and were never even brought up during the election."
"Nobody brought this stuff up," Trump continued. "[Independent Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders can't believe it. This is so radical liberal, radical left, Bernie Sanders can't believe it. This is far more than he ever even talked about. They cannot, the most progressive —they use the term progressive — but the most radical left people cannot believe what's happening."
Manchin, a centrist Democrat who's key for the party to be able to pass their agenda through the upper chamber, reiterated his position on the filibuster in a commentary for the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday, when he also opposed Democrats' "For the People Act" to overhaul elections.
"I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster," Manchin wrote.
Other moderate Senators such as Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., have also said they won't vote to do away with the filibuster.
Progressives lawmakers and organizations have been ramping up pressure on their leadership to nix the procedural hurdle as Republicans stand in the way of nearly any major legislative initiative, The Hill reported.
"We call on you and the Senate Democratic caucus to eliminate the filibuster as a weapon that Sen. McConnell can use to block efforts to defend and strengthen our democracy and make our government work for the American people," Fix Our Senate wrote to Senate Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., NBC News reported.
Trump, while Republicans were in control of the Senate and the White House, also thought about about nixing the filibuster during a meeting with Republicans in 2018, Politico reported at the time. Trump argued Schumer would be ready to use the "nuclear option" to eliminate the legislative filibuster if he became majority leader.
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