Manchin says he's not willing to abolish filibuster over GOP opposition to Jan. 6 commission

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday he is not willing to abolish the legislative filibuster if Republicans block the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which they are set to do within hours.

Why it matters: Manchin — a crucial moderate swing vote — has blasted GOP leadership over the Jan. 6 commission and said "there is no excuse for any Republican to vote against" the bill. But his view has still not changed on eliminating or altering the filibuster, even if it prevents his party from passing key legislation.

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What they're saying: "I'm not willing to destroy our government, no," Manchin said when asked if he would vote to end the filibuster if Republicans blocked the commission.

  • "I think we'll come together. You have to have faith there's ten good people," he added, referring to the 10 Republicans that Democrats need to reach the 60-vote threshold.

  • "The truth will set you free," Manchin said when asked what his message was to Republicans who are still holding out.

The big picture: Only two Senate Republicans — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) — have publicly supported the legislation, which passed the House of Representatives last week with the support of 35 Republicans.

  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has indicated she also supports setting up a commission, but said she believes the bill has "flaws" that need to be corrected. Other Senate Republicans have expressed concerns that the commission will be "weaponized" to damage them politically in the 2022 midterms.

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) publicly opposed the bill last week, calling it a "slanted and unbalanced proposal.” On Thursday, he said on the Senate floor that the commission is "extraneous" and that the Justice Department is already conducting a massive investigation.

The mother of the late Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered two strokes and died the day after responding to rioters on Jan. 6, is requesting sit-downs with Republican senators this week to push them to support the commission.

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