Senator Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., said that if Democrats are able to win control of the Senate, he will not back his party’s calls to pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the filibuster rule nor any other “crazy stuff” they may intend to put forward under a Biden presidency.
Manchin told “Special Report” on Monday that he is a proud Democrat and that it must be understood that not every elected member of the party supports the progressive wing’s policy priorities — though appeared to acknowledge they have been given some weight during the election cycle.
He noted that if Republicans Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina are able to fend off Democratic challengers in two races not yet called by Fox News, the control of the chamber may come down to dueling runoff elections in Georgia.
Incumbent Kelly Loeffler — appointed to fulfill the rest of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s, R-Ga., term — and David Perdue, both Republicans, face Pastor Raphael Warnock and journalist Jon Ossoff respectively in January.
“50-50 [control] means that if one senator does not vote on the Democratic side, there is no tie and there is no bill,” Manchin said.
“I commit to tonight and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that’s watching, I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” he continued.
Manchin called the U.S. Senate a “unique” legislative body in that the original parameters encourage bipartisanship.
He said that he also does not know whether any or enough Democrats would support bills along the lines of “defunding the police,” and that he believes there would in turn be Republicans willing to compromise on “fixing” ObamaCare.
To back up his pledge not to support ending the filibuster and such, he pointed to his opposition to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., doing so for judicial nominees several years ago.
Manchin also however dismissed any contention that he would switch parties due to his moderate stance on such issues, a question that has come up in the past as well.
“I’m a proud moderate conservative Democrat. Maybe there’s not many of us left but I can tell you what this country wants is moderation,” he said.
“Whatever the message was, it was wrong for this many people to be split, for us not to be able to have a mess that didn’t scare the bejeezus out of people and when you’re talking about basically the Green New Deal and all this socialism, that’s not who we are as a Democratic Party.”
Manchin further remarked that he now holds the Senate seat long held by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., who he said “wrote the rules of the Senate” and that he would not be the lawmaker to help deconstruct those rules.