H.R. 1 dead in the water? Manchin derails push for one-party rule

by WorldTribune Staff, May 13, 2021

After House Democrats in February passed H.R. 1, their election reform legislation which they call the “For the People Act”, former President Donald Trump said: “This monster must be stopped. It cannot be allowed to pass.”

It appears the monster has been stopped, by a Democrat.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia told ABC News on Wednesday that he won’t support the legislation in its current form. Manchin said that the final version of the bill, S.B. 1 in the Senate, could not get a majority just to bring it out of committee for consideration.

“And that should put a spike through it — assuming no Republicans cross over,” HotAir’s Ed Morrissey noted. “That makes Manchin’s opposition all but decisive.”

Some political analysts say that if Democrats don’t pass the legislation they will lose both the House and the Senate in next year’s midterm elections.

Manchin said that the committee mark-up showed him that the bill could not get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate and go to Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“No matter what was brought up it was partisan vote, 9-9,” Manchin said, referencing the Senate Rules Committee’s even split on the legislation. “This is one of the most — I think — important things that we can do to try to bring our country back together and if we do it in a partisan way, it’s not going to be successful, I believe.”

The “dirty little secret behind the Democrats’ demagoguery on this bill,” Morrissey noted, is that “it never had enough support to pass the Senate, which is why progressives attempted to smear Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema as racists for protecting the filibuster. The truth behind HR1 and SB1 is that they are radical proposals designed to federalize elections and roll back popular regulations like voter ID.”

The bill would void state voter-identification requirements and make widespread mail-in voting permanent. It would require states to offer online and same-day voter registration as well as 15 days of early voting nationwide.

For mail-in ballots, the legislation would mandate that states would be required to count ballots received within 10 days after Election Day.

“Election laws should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat, but this bill would not only make it easy to cheat, it would effectively make it legal to cheat,” said Kentucky Republican Rep. Andy Barr. “At a time when half of Americans have lost confidence in the integrity of our elections, this bill will only drive distrust and division higher.”

The legislation would also mandate the creation of independent commissions to draw voting districts in each state, taking that power away from the party which controls state legislatures, which at the current time happens to be Republicans in 30 states and Democrats in only 18.

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