On “All In with Chris Hayes,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said she doesn’t buy Manchin’s opposition to HR 1.
In 2019, Manchin cosponsored HR 1, but now opposes it because there are no GOP votes for it.
“Some members represent communities that have never had their right to vote attacked,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
During an appearance on “All In with Chris Hayes” on Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she doesn’t see the logic in Sen. Joe Manchin’s reasons for opposing HR 1.
HR 1, The For The People Act, would require states to expand voter registration as well as voting initiatives and would implement reforms to federal campaign finance and ethics laws.
In 2019, Manchin cosponsored HR 1, the For the People Act, but now opposes it because there aren’t any Republican votes for it. Manchin also opposes ending the filibuster, which if he supported the bill, would give Democrats a slim majority to pass the voting rights legislation without the threat of the GOP blocking it. The bill scraped by the House in March, with zero votes from Republicans.
“HR 1 stands up against lobbyists and dark money. I would reckon to think that this is probably just as much a part of Joe Manchin’s calculus as anything else. Because when it comes to this bipartisan argument – I don’t buy it,” Ocasio-Cortez said on MSNBC.
“‘Cause you look at the Koch Brothers and organizations like, you know, the Heritage Foundation and conservative lobby groups that are doing a victory lap, claiming victory over the fact that Manchin refuses to change on the filibuster,” she continued. “And I think that these two things are very closely intertwined.”
Ocasio-Cortez then went on to discuss what she sees as corporate money and lobbying groups in politics playing a role in funding attacks on voting rights.
As Manchin continues to oppose the bill in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell has rejected Manchin’s bipartisan proposal to revamp HR 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, meaning that Manchin’s opposition to HR 1 limits congressional action on any voting law.
“Joe Manchin has voted on bills that are not bipartisan,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “There are those of us who acknowledge the existential threat and assault on to right to vote, and how they’re [Republicans] putting the pieces together at the state level, in Georgia, Florida and elsewhere, and how it’s being pieced together federally.”
Ocasio-Cortez also argued that Manchin’s opposition is not rooted in the reality of how voter suppression has historically affected Black communities in the US.
“Some members represent communities that have never had their right to vote attacked. Joe Manchin is absolutely one of them, he does not represent a large portion of Black voters. There usually is hesitancy when a member has to take out a risky vote on a community they don’t represent,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez connected the push for HR 1 with the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection and blasted colleagues who have downplayed the need for voting protections.
“We are hanging on a thread of democracy, we need to strengthen democratic institutions that were taken to the brink. There are some that have an unwavering faith in American institutions with no evidence to support that.”
Manchin is a Democrat representing West Virginia, a state that went to former President Donald Trump by 40 points. He is a moderate who often comes under scrutiny from the left-wing of the party.
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