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June 12, 2021
Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-W.VA), on Tuesday sat down for an hour-long virtual meeting with Black civil rights leaders about voting rights and Senate rules, just days after he reiterated his opposition to a sweeping Democratic proposal.
While he called the meeting with the leaders of half a dozen civil rights organizations a “constructive conversation,” Manchin appeared unmoved by their appeals to reconsider his opposition to the For the People Act or altering the Senate’s rules to allow legislation to advance with a simple majority of the chamber. “I don’t think anybody changed positions on that. We’re just learning where everybody’s coming from,” he said.
During Tuesday morning’s meeting, civil rights leaders spoke at length with Manchin about the need to protect the right to vote — and the state-level changes to voting taking place in Republican-controlled states across the country. “We had a candid conversation, we disagreed on certain things that were talked about but we’re going to have a further conversation with him,” National Urban League CEO and President Marc Morial told ABC News. “I think we gave him some important things to consider and think about.”
In an interview on ABC News Live’s “The Breakdown,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the goal of the meeting was to ultimately establish a relationship with Manchin to find solutions to protect voting rights. “It was a pleasant meeting. We left the meeting agreeing that there will be more follow up so we can figure out the best way forward,” Johnson said. “The commitment is to begin the process to ensure we protect the rights of citizens to vote. Legitimate voters should be able to participate, free from voter suppression oppression methods. Senator Manchin, when he was the secretary of state, he did that. He expanded access to voting, and we’re only asking him to work with the community, identify other senators so we can do the same for the American people,” Johnson added [ABC].
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FORBES