Senator Joe Manchin is the Democratic Senator from West Virginia who almost never votes with his party. While Manchin represents a very Red state, he’s still supposed to act like a member of the party on whose platform he runs and alleges to support. Quickly becoming a favorite punching bag for Twitter based on his voting record already, Manchin just gave everyone another reason to get their gloves out on Friday when he said he’ll once again break with the Dems and vote against making Washington, D.C., a state.
Ignoring the fact that 700,000 DC residents are paying taxes with zero representation in Congress, Manchin said that he opposes the unilateral action by Congress to make the nation’s capital a state and that he believes it needs to be done through a constitutional amendment. He said prior Republican and Democratic administrations thought the same thing.
“They all came to the same conclusion. If Congress wants to make D.C. a state, it should propose a constitutional amendment,” Manchin said in an interview with the West Virginia MetroNews radio network. “It should propose a constitutional amendment and let the people of America vote.”
Some notes for Joe Manchin:
1. DC Statehood does NOT require a constitutional amendment. Congress CAN grant 700,000 Americans a vote & fair representation.
— Nick Knudsen 🇺🇸 (@NickKnudsenUS) April 30, 2021
Earlier this month, the House approved a bill strictly along party lines to make the District of Columbia a state with one representative and two senators, while a tiny sliver of land including the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the National Mall would remain a federal district.
Manchin has also stated unequivocally that he will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster. He is among a handful of Democratic senators who have not openly supported the D.C. statehood initiative.
How much kick back are you getting joe Manchin ?
— ✌🏼rosanna arquette (@RoArquette) April 30, 2021
Republicans argued during the House vote that the measure wouldn’t withstand judicial scrutiny. Manchin said he would “tell his friends” that if they pursued statehood through legislation, “you know it’s going to go to the Supreme Court.”
Joe Manchin is dead wrong. There is no excuse to deny thousands and thousands of people their right to equal representation. I'm done with excuses. DC Statehood now. https://t.co/hzDSSp27YXSee Also
— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) April 30, 2021
Such an amendment would not go up for an election. Rather, a proposed amendment to the Constitution would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both chambers of Congress, and then legislatures in 38 states must ratify the language adopted by Congress in order for the amendment to become valid. While Constitution does not prohibit the granting of statehood to Washington, D.C., it does lay out the process by which states are admitted.
I repeat my tweet from the other day: maybe, just maybe, Joe Manchin isn’t very bright. https://t.co/JYLav2Z5Aj
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) April 30, 2021