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Manchin Says He Has Not Received Pressure From Biden To Back Voting Rights, Spending Bills

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) says President Joe Biden has not depended on him to support a sweeping election reform bill, the For the People Act, or another Democrat-only spending bill.

“The president respects the institution so much because he was here and knows it better than everyone else. He does not get involved,” Manchin said during an interview with Politico.

He added, “I already know where he is. I know the challenges he has, and I know basically the pressure he’s receiving all the time. We’re just trying to find a balance for it.”

Manchin revealed on Sunday in an op-ed he would not be supporting the bill, saying it was formed in a “partisan manner.”

“The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,” Manchin said.

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He also said he “will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”

Former President Donald Trump praised Manchin for his position on the filibuster, as IJR reported.

 “Well, it’s a very important thing. He’s doing the right thing, and it’s a very important thing,” Trump said during a Fox News interview.

He continued, “Otherwise, you’re going to be packing the court. You’re going to be doing all sorts of very, very bad things that were unthinkable, and we’re never even brought up during the election. Nobody brought this stuff up.”

After meeting with civil rights leaders on Tuesday, Manchin’s position on the voting rights bill did not change, as IJR reported.

“No, I don’t think anybody changed positions on that. We’re just learning where everyone’s coming from,” Manchin told reporters.

He added, “I just think we had a constructive conversation. I’m very much concerned about our democracy, protecting people’s voting rights, and making sure that that’s done. And making sure we understand how fragile we are as a country.”

Last week, Biden seemingly criticized Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), “I hear all the folks on TV saying, ‘Why doesn’t Biden get this done?’ Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends. But we’re not giving up.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later defended Biden during a White House press briefing.

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“I don’t think he was intending to convey anything other than a little bit of commentary on TV punditry,” she said.

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