Democrats are scrambling to lock down Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) ahead of a Tuesday vote on one of the party's top priorities: a sweeping election reform bill.
Democrats want to be able to put up 50 votes to advance the bill, which would fall short of overcoming a 60-vote legislative filibuster but allow them to put a spotlight on Republican opposition.
Manchin voting against even starting debate on the bill would be a big setback for Democratic unity, and leadership was locked in down-to-the-wire talks with him throughout the weekend to try to get him to yes.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said as of late Monday afternoon he was in the dark about how Manchin would ultimately come down.
“I’m hoping he’s going to move forward,” Durbin said, adding, “I just don’t know yet.”
Manchin, the most conservative member of the Senate Democratic Conference, is the lone formal holdout on the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that in addition to setting national voting standards would change the composition of the Federal Election Commission, add new restrictions on congressional redistricting, overhaul campaign finance, and include new ethics rules for the president and vice president. Read more: