Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

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A small group of Senate Democrats are privately invoking the legacy of the late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd, Nerdshala, in an effort to support Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) in his plans to change the chamber’s rules. has learned.

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why it matters: Manchin – who holds Byrd’s Senate seat – has often referred to his predecessor’s strong moral convictions and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution as justifications for some of his difficult positions.

  • Even Byrd, one of the most ardent defenders of Senate decorum and process, helped change Senate rules In the face of the obstacle, these senators argue. The group consists of censors Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and John Tester (D-Mont.).
  • Implementing Bird’s legacy is an attempt to persuade Munchkin to get on board, especially as a Democrat. Navigate a Filebuster Workaround To pass the Voting Rights Act.
  • While Manchin, to the ire of many of his Democratic allies, has repeatedly refused to eliminate filibuster, he has shown openness to changing Senate rules, several lawmakers and his aides told Nerdshala.

Background: The push comes as Democrats are meeting behind closed doors on a package of rule changes to help break the impasse in front of the Senate, particularly one with a 50-50 split room.

  • “We are exploring other options,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told Nerdshala.
  • “We are looking at a whole package of reforms to improve the work of the Senate, which we think may facilitate the passage of voting rights, but will not eliminate the filibuster,” Kaine said on Tuesday. Said too.
  • The push is also “to respond to complaints that senators in both the Republican and Democratic parties have made” about the floor process and even the difficulty of passing bipartisan legislation, such as the National Defense Authorization Act, Kaine said.

What we’re listening to: A source close to Manchin confirmed that Democrats have on several occasions tried to sell Bird to him over possible rule changes.

  • Manchin’s close friend Tester also told Nerdshala that he thinks implementing Bird’s legacy “could help.”
  • ,[Byrd] Said that the rules needed to change or adapt to the times,” said the examiner. “I mean, he was the master of the rules. What are we working on now? ‘Bird Bath’.”
  • Tester said he had “several” conversations with Munchkin about attempting to reform Senate rules, adding that his aide has indicated enough openness to give the group the confidence to talk.

Munchkin is also having casual conversation With Senate Republicans about potential reforms, Hill first reported And Nerdshala has confirmed.

  • Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Nerdshala about his conversation with Munchkin, “We’ve talked about the difficulty of a candidate reviewing candidates and moving in on time.”
  • A Manchin aide cautioned against drawing any conclusions, telling Nerdshala that the senator would negotiate with anyone on any topic.
  • Such talks do not indicate that he is involved with any proposed changes.
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