Joe Manchin Delivers the Hurt to Chuck Schumer

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Filibuster or no filibuster, the For the People Act is not going to become law.

In an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail late Saturday night, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat in a bright red state, announced that he will vote against the For the People Act.

Since this legislation has no Republican support, Manchin’s decision pretty much kills the bill. Democrats will certainly reintroduce it in a future Congress, but hopefully Republicans will control either the House or the Senate or both chambers by then.

Manchin wrote, “The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.”

He recognizes that this legislation has become “overtly politicized” and took a swipe at the Republican legislatures in Georgia and Florida for passing laws that will require all voters to show an ID, writing that they “seek to needlessly restrict voting.” But he also criticized the Democrats “who ignore the need to secure our elections.”

If sweeping changes are made to election laws “in a partisan manner,” the Senator said it will guarantee that “partisan divisions continue to deepen.”

He points out the Democrats’ plan to eliminate the filibuster to pass this bill and reminds them of how important the filibuster has been “to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.”

As a reminder, just four short years ago, in 2017 when Republicans held control of the White House and Congress, President Donald Trump was publicly urging Senate Republicans to eliminate the filibuster. Then, it was Senate Democrats who were proudly defending the filibuster. Thirty-three Senate Democrats penned a letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warning of the perils of eliminating the filibuster.

It has been said by much wiser people than me that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Well, what I’ve seen during my time in Washington is that every party in power will always want to exercise absolute power, absolutely. Our founders were wise to see the temptation of absolute power and built in specific checks and balances to force compromise that serves to preserve our fragile democracy. The Senate, its processes and rules, have evolved over time to make absolute power difficult while still delivering solutions to the issues facing our country and I believe that’s the Senate’s best quality.

Yes, this process can be frustrating and slow. It will force compromises that are not always ideal. But consider the alternative. Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? I have always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.” And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda.

The truth is there is a better way – if we seek to find it together.

And he concludes:

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. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

On Thursday, Manchin told NBC News’ Capital Hill correspondent Garrett Haake that he’s not interested in passing an infrastructure bill with only Democratic support. “Basically, we need to be bipartisan,” Manchin said.

This is excellent news for Republicans and we can even forgive him for disagreeing with us on the voter ID requirement.

This is the second blow in less than a week for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The first came from the Senate Parliamentarian. The majority party is allowed to use reconciliation twice in one year. The Democrats have used it once to pass the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill and have one opportunity left. Schumer believed he had found a way to get an extra shot, however, the parliamentarian ruled that it can’t be used to avoid a filibuster. Which is precisely how he had intended to use it. I posted about this story here.

Ted Cruz Calls Out Democrats’ ‘Corrupt Politicians Act’ for the Horror It Is

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A Senate committee took up debate on the Democrats’ sweeping voting reform package on Tuesday. Best known as H.R.1, the name of the bill is the “For the People Act.” It should really be called the “For the Democrats Act” because if this bill were to become law, America would be governed by one-party rule for generations to come. The House passed H.R. 1 in early March.

H.R. 1 represents the Biden Administration’s biggest power grab yet. This bill is unpopular across the board with the GOP.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, denounced the bill, which some call the “Corrupt Politicians Act,” in no uncertain terms on Tuesday.

In the video below, Cruz tells his colleagues this bill is “profoundly dangerous.”

“The reason it suppresses millions of votes is by allowing millions of people to vote illegally, and that is the intended effect and that would be the actual effect of this bill. It dilutes the legal votes of American citizens.”

Senator Schumer spoke of “the stench of oppression when Democrats drafted Jim Crow the last time. Well, the stench of oppression is here again. Sen. Schumer said ‘the eyes of history are on you.’ The eyes of history are on you as well, and let me point out something. It was just a few years ago that the Republicans had control of the White House, the Senate and the House. We didn’t do this. We didn’t try to change the election rules so that Democrats could never be elected. We didn’t engage in the corruption to say, ‘We’re gonna rig the game.’ So, if the voters decide to throw the bums out, the voters don’t get to do that, because we’re going to put our thumb on the scale so that only our party wins. To my knowledge, not a single Republican suggested doing that.

“This bill doesn’t protect voting rights. It steals voting rights from the American people.”

Republican strategist Karl Rove joined Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Tuesday to give a summary of just how bad this bill would be for the party. He said “it federalizes elections and has a bunch of bad things in it.”

The first point is that taxpayers would be paying for congressional campaigns. The federal government will match contributions by a multiple of six. Rove said, for example, “if you gave a $200 contribution,” the government (with taxpayer dollars) would contribute up to $1,200.

“No voter ID laws. Every state voter ID law in the country is wiped out.”

It makes it difficult to keep accurate voter registration lists. “States can’t check people at the polls against the registration lists. People can show up and change their name and their address at the polls and that’s not set aside as a provisional ballot to be further checked. It’s thrown into the big batch. You can’t check with other states. You can’t remove people from the voter list even if they’ve not voted, you’ve sent them a postcard, and the postcard has come back and says that person no longer lives at the address. But you have to leave them on the rolls,” Rove explained.

“Everyone gets a ballot mailed to them. And no ID, no notary, no witnesses,” he noted. “They mail them out and anybody can fill them out and send them back in.”

“It bans outside observers at the polls. The only people who can challenge a voter or somebody who shows up at the polls is an election official, not an observer representing either the Democrat or Republican parties.

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20 States Send Letter to Congressional Leaders Promising Swift Consequences if HR1 Passes

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Democratic leaders no longer even try to hide their real objectives. All of the bills introduced by Democratic lawmakers have been undisguised power grabs.

Having been well pleased with the flexibility in voting methods the pandemic allowed them, and certainly with the result of the election, party leaders decided to make these changes permanent. The result was the passage of H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2021,” (the Act), by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Noting the gross overreach by the federal government in the bill, the attorneys general of 20 states penned a letter to Congressional leadership which can be viewed here.

This group of top law enforcement officers write that “it is difficult to imagine a legislative proposal more threatening to election integrity and voter confidence.” They make the case that H.R. 1 strips the state legislatures of their constitutionally granted authority to determine how elections will be held in their states.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, the leader of this group and the first signer of the letter, issued a statement to Fox News which read in part, “This monstrosity of a bill betrays the Constitution, dangerously federalizes state elections, and undermines the integrity of the ballot box. As a former chief election officer, and now an Attorney General, I know this would be a disaster for election integrity and confidence in the processes that have been developed over time to instill confidence in the idea of ‘one person, one vote.’”

The letter begins: “As introduced, the Act betrays several Constitutional deficiencies and alarming mandates that, if passed, would federalize state elections and impose burdensome costs and regulations on state and local officials. Under both the Elections Clause of Article I of the Constitution and the Electors Clause of Article II, States have principal — and with presidential elections, exclusive — responsibility to safeguard the manner of holding elections. The Act would invert that constitutional structure, commandeer state resources, confuse and muddle elections procedures, and erode faith in our elections and systems of governance.”

It states further that “the Act regulates ‘election for Federal office,’ defined to include ‘election for the office of President or Vice President.’ The Act therefore implicates the Electors Clause, which expressly affords ‘Each State’ the power to ‘appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,’ the state’s allotment of presidential electors, and separately affords Congress only the more limited power to ‘determine the Time of chusing the Electors.’  That exclusive division of power for setting the ‘manner’ and ‘time’ of choosing presidential electors differs markedly from the collocated powers of the Article I Elections Clause, which says that both States and Congress have the power to regulate the ‘time, place, and manner’ of congressional elections.”

“That distinction is not an accident of drafting,” the group maintains. “After extensive debate, the Constitution’s Framers deliberately excluded Congress from deciding how presidential electors would be chosen in order to avoid presidential dependence on Congress for position and authority.”

They cite a Supreme Court ruling in the case of McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1, 27 (1892) in which the court upheld “a Michigan statute apportioning presidential electors by district.” The court “observed that the Electors Clause ‘convey[s] the broadest power of determination’ and ‘leaves it to the [state] legislature exclusively to define the method’ of appointment of electors.”

“The exclusivity of state power to ‘define the method’ of choosing presidential electors,” write the attorneys general, “means that Congress may not force states to permit presidential voting by mail or curbside voting, for example.”

The group notes the Act’s “regulation of congressional elections” which includes “mandating mail-in voting, requiring states to accept late ballots, overriding state voter identification (“ID”) laws, and mandating that states conduct redistricting through unelected commissions [gerrymandering], also faces severe constitutional hurdles.” Rather than “acting as a check,” Congress is “seizing the role of principal election regulator.”

The letter excoriates the Democrats’ proposal to eliminate voter ID laws which the group writes is “perhaps” the “most egregious” feature of the bill. It also cites the Act’s attempt to put limitations on how states can purge voter rolls of those who have left the state.

“The Act would dismantle meaningful voter ID laws by allowing a statement, as a substitute for prior-issued, document-backed identification, to “attest [ ] to the individual’s identity and . . . that the individual is eligible to vote in the election.” This does little to ensure that voters are who they say they are.”

Identification is required for everything in modern life. I went to a Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles facility several months ago to renew my driver’s license. In Connecticut, a trip to the DMV requires several hours. Finally working my way to the front of the line, I presented my passport, social security card, even my birth certificate – complete with a raised seal. I had forgotten, however, to bring two pieces of mail from my address of the last 27 years, so I would not be allowed to receive a “REAL ID,” one that could be used to board an airplane. Unless I wanted to do all of this over again, I would be issued a “standard” license that stated “Not for Federal Identification” on its face. Deciding that I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than repeat this exercise anytime soon, I opted for the standard license.

Voting is one of the most sacred privileges of a U.S. citizen. There is only one reason for waiving the voter ID requirement. And that is because it facilitates voter fraud. It’s that simple.

The attorneys general conclude with the following message. “Despite recent calls for political unity, the Act takes a one-sided approach to governing and usurps states’ authority over elections. With confidence in elections at a record low, the country’s focus should be on building trust in the electoral process. Around the nation, the 2020 general elections generated mass confusion and distrust — problems that the Act would only exacerbate. Should the Act become law, we will seek legal remedies to protect the Constitution, the sovereignty of all states, our elections, and the rights of our citizens.”

In their quest for absolute power, Democrats have forgotten that the United States is a constitutional federal republic. Our government “is based on a Constitution which is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution not only provides the framework for how the federal and state governments are structured, but also places significant limits on their powers.” (Emphasis added.)

Finally, “‘federal’ means that there is both a national government and governments of the 50 states.” Under the federal system of government, state legislatures are granted the power to determine election laws in the state.

Blinded by their lust for power, Democrats are ignoring the Constitution and showing complete disregard for the rule of law. The fact that 20 attorneys general have come forward to threaten “legal remedies” to protect the Constitution, the sovereignty of all states, our elections, and the rights of our citizens,” if this bill becomes law, speaks volumes.

The National Constitution Center, a left-leaning think tank, provides the weak counter-argument to the belief that states have the right to set their own regulations concerning elections. They claim that the Elections Clause “vests ultimate power in Congress.” They write that the Framers “were concerned that states might establish unfair election procedures or attempt to undermine the national government by refusing to hold elections for Congress.”

The NCC website states: “Although the Elections Clause makes states primarily responsible for regulating congressional elections, it vests ultimate power in Congress. Congress may pass federal laws regulating congressional elections that automatically displace (“preempt”) any contrary state statutes, or enact its own regulations concerning those aspects of elections that states may not have addressed. The Framers of the Constitution were concerned that states might establish unfair election procedures or attempt to undermine the national government by refusing to hold elections for Congress. They empowered Congress to step in and regulate such elections as a self-defense mechanism.”

I am not a lawyer, but I believe the opposite is true, that the Framers were more concerned with endowing the states with sovereignty.

A final decision on this case may ultimately require an interpretation of the Tenth and Eleventh amendments by the Supreme Court.

So far, however, perhaps because they feel vulnerable over Democrats’ threats to pack the court, the justices have repeatedly rejected attempts to get pulled into political disputes. Rather than being mere “political disputes,” I see them as questions requiring constitutional interpretation. And isn’t that why we have a Supreme Court?

This bill may never need to be settled by the Supreme Court. Hopefully, it will fail in the Senate. In March 2019, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked an earlier version of the “For the People Act.”

(Note: After the new version was introduced in January, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson addressed the features of this proposed legislation on his show. He concluded that if H.R. 1 were to become law, it would “enshrine fraud.” A video of Carlson’s excellent analysis can be viewed here.)

Here’s The Good News About the House’s Passage of The Biggest Democratic Power Grab in History

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Before shuttering the Capitol building on Wednesday night due to threats of “danger” from unhinged Trump supporters on Thursday (sarcasm), the House passed H.R. 1, the ironically named “For the People Act,” by a vote of 220-210. It is impossible to overstate the damage this legislation, if it were to pass the Senate, would do to this once-great nation.

The stated purpose of H.R. 1 is:  “To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.” The full text of H.R. 1 can be viewed here.

The real purpose of the bill is to make permanent many of the changes made to state voting systems and procedures ostensibly to facilitate voting in the age of COVID-19.

One of the most notable features of H.R. 1 is that it strips states of the right to set their own standards for how elections are to be conducted. Election laws would be determined at the federal level.

Under this bill, states would be required to promote the use of mail-in voting, to offer online applications for voter registration, and to provide automatic and even same-day voter registration.

H.R. 1 would all but eliminate voter ID laws. It would prohibit states from “requiring identification as a condition of obtaining a ballot.”

Another provision, Section 1621, would require the “uniform availability of absentee voting to all voters.” Every voter will have the option of casting an absentee ballot by mail. A state may not attach any conditions to this right.

In addition, “ballot harvesting” would be allowed in every state.

In other words, all of the practices that handed victory to the Democrats in the 2020 election would become law.

If this legislation passes, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Republicans to ever win another election.

Suffice it to say, the passage of H.R. 1 would radically change the way the U.S. conducts elections. The implementation of these practices will be a recipe for massive fraud.

Election fraud, as we’ve learned the hard way over the past several months, is relatively easy to perpetrate, but difficult to prove.

I said there would be some good news and there is indeed!

Unless the Senate votes to abolish the filibuster, 60 votes would be required for this bill to pass the upper chamber. That would mean that ten Republicans would have to vote for it – which is not going to happen.

I don’t even think Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) or Susan Collins (R-ME) would go for this.

Oddly, ending the legislative filibuster would only require a simple majority, or 51 votes, to pass. There are currently 50 Democratic senators in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris who would be available to cast the deciding vote.

(Note: Please scroll down for an explanation of the filibuster.)

The extremely good news is that two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have both publicly and unequivocally stated their opposition to ending the legislative filibuster.

Shortly after H.R.1 was introduced in the House, a representative of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema told The Washington Post’s White House reporter, Seung Min Kim, that “Kyrsten is against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

Up until now, conservatives have been counting on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to save us from being overrun by leftist lesiglation. Manchin won re-election in 2018 in a state that went overwhelmingly for former President Donald Trump, by nearly 40 points in 2020 and over 41 in 2016.

In the past, Manchin has expressed his opposition to ending the filibuster, but recent statements have left Republicans wondering.

However, Politico reported (on the same day Sinema’s spokesperson made the announcement above) that Manchin was “emphatic” that he “will not vote to kill the filibuster.” Asked if there were any scenario in which he would change his mind, the senator replied: “None whatsoever that I will vote to get rid of the filibuster.”

Perhaps he had gotten wind of Sinema’s announcement by that time.

Either way, the Arizonan’s remarkable decision came as welcome news to all of us who have feared the radical agenda now being promoted by the left.

Sinema’s and Manchin’s opposition to abolishing the filibuster will not save us from the Democrats’ entire agenda, but it should stop the most radical parts of it.

Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of democracy. If H.R. 1 were to become law, voter fraud will become easier than ever and the U.S. may never hold an honest election again. This bill represents a clear and present danger to the integrity of U.S. elections.

Brief Explanation of the Filibuster:

The Senate website defines the filibuster as an “informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.” This device is meant to prevent the party in the Senate minority from being completely overpowered by the majority party.

Currently, with a 50-50 balance of power in the Senate, Democrats control the upper chamber by the slimmest margin possible.

Current Senate rules require a minimum of 60 votes to pass legislation. Some Democrats have hoped to abolish the filibuster so that only a simple majority of 51 votes (50 Democratic senators plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote) would be necessary to advance their progressive agenda.

Prior to the election, the Indivisible Project, a movement dedicated to advancing the election of progressive candidates, explained why this is bad news for Democrats:

It’s simple: none of the progressive issues that Democratic candidates and congressional leaders are discussing today will become law unless we do something about the filibuster.

If [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell expects to be the Grim Reaper of progressive policies, the scythe he’ll use is the Senate filibuster. Unless we change the rules.