Joe Manchin’s moderate voting rights compromise wins another big backer: Barack Obama

Joe Manchin’s moderate voting rights compromise wins another big backer: Barack Obama
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Manchin’s moderate voting rights compromise wins support from Obama (Getty)
Manchin’s moderate voting rights compromise wins support from Obama (Getty)

Barack Obama has come out in favour of Senator Joe Manchin’s voting rights compromise, following Georgia voting rights activist Stacey Abrams doing the same last week.

The former president told grassroots Democrats that Congress needed to pass voting rights legislation before the midterm elections in 2022 to protect American democracy.

“We can’t wait until the next election because if we have the same kinds of shenanigans that brought about 6 January, if we have that for a couple more election cycles, we’re going to have real problems in terms of our democracy long-term,” said Mr Obama.

The president’s warning comes as Republicans across the US advance restrictive voting legislation in response to Donald Trump’s electoral defeat and the former president’s repeated, and baseless, claims that the election was rigged against him.

Mr Obama spoke on a call to supporters alongside former Attorney General Eric Holder, and said that he had no choice but to get involved in the debate over the For the People Act.

“Since I left office I’ve tried to make a policy not to weigh in on the day-to-day scrum in Washington,” added Mr Obama.

“But what’s happening this week is more than just a partisan bill coming up or not coming up to a vote.”

The voting act was passed in the House in March, and is set to be voted on this week by the Senate.

As it stands, the bill does not have the ten Republican votes it needs to over come the filibuster.

Despite this, Democrats intend to take a vote in order to highlight GOP opposition to it.

Mr Manchin, the most conservative Democratic senator, has not committed to supporting it but released a list of voting rights initiatives that he supports, which was largely met with approval by his party.

Mr Obama said that the proposals were made by “the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, or maybe in Congress – Joe Manchin of West Virginia – to come up with common sense reforms that a majority of Americans agree with, that Democrats and Republicans can agree with.”

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