Prominent civil rights groups and leaders met with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday in the hopes of convincing the conservative Democrat to support the For the People Act, a sweeping bill to protect voting rights at the federal level. Manchin said the talks did not change his opposition, despite having co-sponsored the bill just two years ago in 2019, even though it also received no Republican support at the time. Manchin is now claiming the lack of bipartisan support is his reason for opposing the bill. He has instead suggested he would vote for a limited bipartisan-supported John Lewis Voting Rights Act. But on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out against the John Lewis Act, calling it “unnecessary.” Reverend Dr. William Barber announced the Poor People’s Campaign would hold a “Moral March on Manchin” in West Virginia next Monday.
CNBC reports Americans for Prosperity, a lobbying group backed by billionaire Charles Koch, has been pressuring Manchin to oppose key Democratic legislative efforts, including filibuster reform and voting rights legislation. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Senate Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to remedy the gender wage gap, leading to yet more calls to abolish the filibuster.