April 06, 2017

Manchin Statement on Using the Nuclear Option

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on the Senate’s plan to use the nuclear option.

“I am deeply disappointed that, later today, many Senators plan to vote for the nuclear option, taking another step toward destroying the Senate. As I said when I voted against the Democrats’ nuclear option in 2013, I firmly believe that the filibuster is vital to protecting the minority’s views and exactly why the Framers of our Constitution made the Senate the ‘cooling saucer.’

“As my predecessor the great Robert C. Byrd said in the months before his death, ‘While I welcome needed reform, we must always be mindful of our responsibility to preserve this institution’s special purpose.’ Senator Byrd will be rolling over in his grave today as we trample on the tradition and the institution of the Senate.

“Every Republican Senator joined me in opposing the rules change then, but now, they stand united to do exactly what they opposed just 3 years ago. Frustratingly, both parties have traded talking points: Republicans say it’s about obstructionism and Democrats say it’s a power grab. Their shifting positions and hypocrisy is the one thing that unites them: both times, it was simply about doing what was politically easy instead of doing the hard work of consensus building. This is precisely what is wrong with Washington, and if it happens, both Democrats and Republicans will bear the shame.

“I put party politics aside to support Judge Gorsuch because he is a most qualified jurist. I hope my colleagues will put partisanship aside and reconsider their position when we take this important vote on the nuclear option. It was Senator Byrd who knew that compromise is not easy but is worth the fight to preserve the Senate.”