Senate Republicans Thursday said that they have no intention of supporting Sen. Joe Manchin’s proposal for elections legislation, which was intended to be a possible bipartisan compromise in lieu of Democrats’ controversial elections proposal S.1.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Thursday that he hopes “all Republicans” will oppose the proposal from Manchin, the senior senator from West Virginia, at a press conference that was designed to show Republican unity against S.1.
“It still turns the Federal Election Commission (FEC) from a judge into a prosecutor by taking away the three-three balance and making it 3-2 Democratic,” McConnell said.
McConnell was referencing an element of S.1 that would change the FEC from a body with six members, three from each party, to a body with two members from each party and a third nonpartisan individual appointed by the president. Republicans say the fact that President Biden would appoint the nonpartisan individual defeats the purpose.
It would also, McConnell said, “remove redistricting from state legislatures and hand it over to computers. Equally unacceptable. Totally inappropriate.”
He called that provision “extraordinarily dubious” constitutionally.
“All Republicans, I think, will oppose that as well, if that were to be surfaced on the floor,” McConnell said, referencing the fact that it’s been endorsed by Stacey Abrams.
Missouri’s Sen. Roy Blunt also slammed the Manchin proposal over the fact it is supported by Abrams.
“I think every one of us looks for opportunities to work with Sen. Manchin and we’ve found those opportunities,” he said. “I actually think when Stacey Abrams immediately endorsed Sen. Manchin’s proposal it became the Stacey Abrams substitute, not the Joe Manchin substitute.”
Manchin’s bill would, among other things, require at least 15 days of early voting; require states to use voter ID; make it easier for states to maintain their voter rolls; implement automatic registration through state DMVs and more.