While Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) made it clear he is not in favor of the nuclear option to get rid of the filibuster, he and other Republican senators did recently confirm to The Hill that he is in talks with GOP members to discuss reforming it. Jordain Carney first reported on the scoop on Wednesday for The Hill. Manchin emphasized that any reform “should be bipartisan,” ruling out the nuclear option.
It’s worth noting that Carney begins his piece by writing that Manchin is “a key Democratic holdout on reforming the filibuster,” indicating that his idea of “reforming the filibuster” means getting rid of it. Carney goes on to write that Manchin is “discussing small changes to Senate rules with Republicans.”
Manchin has been having conversations with key members as confirmed by them, including Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who is the Senate Minority Whip, and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee:
“Most of us would argue that the only thing that it takes to get the Senate working better is behavioral change. … But he is trying to come up with some fairly, I would say, creative ideas about the rules,” said Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican.
Thune added that Manchin had spoken with other GOP senators and that there was a “considerable amount of interest in trying to make the Senate functional.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) confirmed that Manchin had also talked to him.
“You know I had a lot of discussions with Schumer on this topic when he was the ranking member on Rules and I was the chairman and we could reopen that discussion,” he added, referring to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).