Good morning! It has been such a pleasure to wake up and not feel as if yet another bomb has dropped. This is certainly due to having a new president and administration, but also to having control over the Senate. There’s always someone who wants the limelight and the power, however, and now it is a Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. With his threat to vote against the Stimulus bill, he was able to keep the weekly unemployment benefits at $300/week instead of the proposed $400 and an ending date of Sept. 6 instead of early October. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/05/us/politics/senate-stimulus-bill.html
The next big bill is the “For The People Act” which is all about voting access, that the Republicans have blocked, or are in the process of doing so. For this bill to pass the Senate needs a 60-vote majority and we all know that will be impossible. The only way to pass it is to get rid of the filibuster rule which allows any senator to stop a bill. To filibuster the senator(s) extends the debate as long as they wish. That option was made much too comfortable by not requiring the Senator(s) to be present. Sen. Manchin is not in favor of getting rid of the filibuster, (which would allow a bill to be passed by a simple majority) but is in favor of removing the option of not being present, forcing dissenting senators to occupy the floor 24-7. https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/joe-manchin-filibuster-reform-biden-mcconnell-sinema-1138105/
Call Sen. Manchin urging him to get rid of the filibuster, or at the very least to return the rule that requires the physical presence of the Senator(s) who has proposed the filibuster. You can say that you are not a constituent of his, but as an American citizen you hope he will support one of the options so that we can pass the “For The People Act” and future, desperately needed legislation.
Have a great day! Betty