Manchin Strikes Blow to Dems in DC Statehood

Manchin Strikes Blow to Dems in DC Statehood

( – For decades, progressive and far-left Democrats pushed hard to admit Washington, DC, as the 51st state of the nation. Now, with razor-thin margins in both the House and Senate, it was considered a longshot by many political observers and analysts. Despite the odds, on April 22, the Democratic-led House passed a DC statehood bill on a 216-208 party-line vote.

Republicans argued that the legislation was purely for political purposes and that it wasn’t the correct process to follow. Instead, the GOP said the only legal method for the Left to get its wish was through a Constitutional amendment. It appears that in the Senate, at least one moderate Democrat from a heavily red-leaning state agrees, and the bill is now dead in Congress.

Manchin Rebuffs Democrats

With such thin margins in both the House and Senate, the odds were never good that DC would become a state. First, it’s a terrible idea. Second, the Democrats never had the votes in the Senate. It would require a minimum 60 vote threshold to pass, and Republican Senators would never vote for it. In 2020, the Democrats passed it in the House, but the then-Republican-led Senate never even brought the bill to the floor for consideration.

During a radio interview, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he would not support the drastic proposal through legislation. He argued the bill was too significant. Instead, he pointed to the 23rd Amendment and said voters and a Constitutional amendment should decide DC’s fate. With those words, the red-state Democrat killed any hopes the Left had of adding two more Senate seats for their side. Washington, DC, has over a 90% registration advantage for Democrats.

In 1961, the 23rd Amendment recognized that DC residents didn’t have much say in presidential elections. It allowed the district three Electoral College Votes in presidential elections but didn’t add any other political benefits that states enjoy.

Democrats Play With Political Fire

Even if the Senate kills the filibuster, there are no guarantees they can keep their caucus together, as illustrated by Manchin’s wandering from the left. Ending the filibuster isn’t going to happen either, as at least Sens. Manchin, Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), and Jon Tester (D-MT) spoke against that idea. Democrats can’t lose one member of their caucus on any vote if Republicans all vote against a measure, let alone three.

What the Democrats are doing is playing with fire. They knew the odds were against them as they pushed multi-trillion-dollar far-left spending proposals and moved the country as far to the left as they possibly could, as quickly as possible.

With the reapportionment of House seats favoring the GOP in 2022 and several moderate Democrats facing difficult races in moderate districts, the Left could be setting the party up for failure. Did Democrats even bother to ask if it was worth making DC a state or if it was even Constitutionally possible?

Manchin did, and he determined that controversial legislation wasn’t worth putting before the Supreme Court. Instead, he said the people should have a say in the Constitutional amendment process.

It appears that the controversial bill is dead for now. Never fear, the Democrats are reloading with other far-left proposals that could force Manchin to continue questioning his party’s direction.

This ought to get interesting to watch.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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