“There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote. “The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”
Even with all 50 Democrats in agreement, most legislation requires 60 votes to stop a filibuster. Democrats argue that while the filibuster used to be employed sparingly, it’s now used for any issue where there is partisan disagreement.
A few weeks ago, Manchin flirted with being open to talks about changes to the filibuster, but as ideas were floated, he batted each one down.
As the most conservative Senate Democrat, Manchin has an outsized role in an evenly-divided Senate where, absent Republican support, Democrats need Manchin to get anything passed. Another conservative Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, has also said she is opposed to getting rid of the filibuster.