West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin rejected the idea Senate Democrats would pack the court Monday should they take the upper-chamber majority pending the outcome of the two Georgia runoffs, calling such concerns raised by Republicans “fear tactics.”
The leader of the Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer, has publicly affirmed that court packing and eliminating the filibuster are “on the table” for Democrats should they get more power. Manchin appeared to claim the Senate majority leader was using “fear tactics” in making that statement.
“There’s a lot of fear tactics being used right now,” Manchin said, going on to outline the different scenarios where if Democrats were to take the presidency and reclaim the Senate, the caucus would likely only hold a single-member majority if not an evenly balanced 50-50 member chamber in which Democrat vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris would cast the deciding votes in split decisions.
“But if one senator does not vote on a Democratic side, there is no tie, and there is no bill,” Manchin said. “So I commit to you tonight and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to lay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now.”
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says "I will not vote to pack the courts. I will not vote to end the filibuster… I don't know of any Democrats in the caucus that are for defunding the police… We can't even pay for Medicare for some." pic.twitter.com/Se8L6Jxljq
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 9, 2020
Democrats have privately told colleagues to stop openly stating goals of defunding police and achieving socialism after congressional losses in the 2020 election, as this hurts them with moderate voters like those in West Virginia. Manchin now wants the public to hear that he would vote in opposition to any legislation packing the courts or implementing institutional changes such as the elimination of the filibuster.
“The Senate,” Manchin said, “was made to work together in a bipartisan way.”
On other progressive wish-list issues, Manchin denied there was any serious consideration among colleagues to defund police, and pledged he would oppose “Medicare for All,” since taxpayers could barely afford “Medicare for some.” Biden vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris was a Senate cosponsor of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for all legislation, and 87 percent of Democrat voters support the idea.
Monday night was not the first time the West Virginia senator has publicly opposed his party’s plans for packing the court with additional leftist justices to circumvent constitutional obstacles to their permanent governance and overthrow of the Constitution. As Democratic threats of court-packing escalated in light of the Supreme Court confirmation battle to replace deceased Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Manchin said he would refuse to support the radical measure.
“I’m not going to vote for anything that would cause, basically, not be able to work in a bipartisan way,” Manchin said in September.
With their eyes on winning over voters in red Georgia to retake the Senate, it seems Democrats are sending out Manchin to obscure their broader party’s support for radical policies most voters aren’t ready for yet.