After Sunday show comments, Manchin says in interview he wants to keep the Senate's 60-vote threshold

"There's no way that I would vote to prevent the minority from having input into the process in the Senate. That means protecting the filibuster"…
“Jiminy Christmas, buddy. That’s why I even hate to say anything to you," Manchin said when asked about the hype his openness a talking filibuster had created.

“They must have read a lot more into that than just saying: ‘Let’s look at any way we can to preserve the filibuster.'"
Schumer says he Senate will begin taking up House-passed bills, like HR 1/Equality Act, etc.

“We're going to figure out a way. It’s a passion of mine to get [election reform] done ... Everything's on the table. We have to. What is not an option is not getting bold things done.”
But Democrats have a math problem. They don't have GOP support and Sinema + Manchin and other quiet dissenters aren't ready to change rules.

“My position on the filibuster has been steady my entire career,” Sinema says “I would always oppose efforts to eliminate the filibuster.”
Still, there's been an unmistakable shift in the center of the D Caucus. Sens. Smith, Klobuchar and Cortez Masto all coming out for changes in the past week. But Senate Dems will either need to build case to get 50 -- or pick up seats in 2022

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More from @burgessev

6 Mar
"Joe Manchin looked at it and was unsure,” Schumer said in a Saturday interview. “If Manchin would have approved the [GOP] amendment, the bill probably couldn't have passed the House. And I told him that. And he understood that.”…

@marianne_levine This was Schumer's first big legislative victory as leader. It was messy but significant: Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders (and every Democrat) each providing the deciding vote on one of the biggest spending bills ever.

Talked to Biden and Klain multiple times a day over past few
@marianne_levine “This last 24 hours was really chaotic. If this was the first big test, I don’t think he … crushed it. It was a very undisciplined, unorganized process,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) of Schumer.
Read 4 tweets
6 Mar
New agreement that Manchin approved keeps $300 unemployment payments through Sept. 6, per an aide. $10k in UI payments still not taxable but only applies to households making $150k or under
Manchin: “The President has made it clear we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May and I am confident the economic recovery will follow. We have reached a compromise that enables the economy to rebound quickly while also protecting those receiving” UI
Manchin’s whole thing was pushing people to go back to work and not incentivize people to stay on unemployment. He ended up getting several weeks shaved off the Carper proposal and means-testing eligibility for UI tax deductions
Read 4 tweets
5 Mar
We are officially in WTF territory on the Senate floor. The vote-a-rama has been stalled out for more than three hours. Dems don't yet have 50 for their most important amendment and Rs are trying to bring Manchin on board to Portman's unemployment trims.
The order of the votes hasn't been determined either. If Portman's goes first and it succeeds, Dems could rewrite it with Carper amendment. Until then, Democrats would prefer to stay on min wage vote until infinity rather than start working through GOP amendments
More here on the very smooth Democratic process today…

@caitlinzemma @marianne_levine
Read 4 tweets
5 Mar
Sinema, Tester and Cortez Masto are working on Manchin, who seems to be the sticking point. Sinema told him the vote is today, implying that negotiations can’t continue forever. Tester could tell we were listening because I heard him making fun of me
They’ve moved to the cloakroom. Best I can tell Manchin isn’t entirely sold on the new UI deal
Portman seems to think he has Manchin’s vote for his proposal to shrink the UI benefit to $300 without some of the other changes
Read 6 tweets
5 Mar
Tester votes against procedural vote on $15 minimum wage
Manchin also votes no
Shaheen votes no as well. Somewhat surprising
Read 11 tweets
4 Mar
New: Republicans leaning hard on Murkowski to reject the $1.9 stimulus bill. No. 3 GOPer Barrasso: “Sen. McConnell has been very clear on that, for all Republicans. The goal is to present a united front"

But Murkowski is unique and so is Alaska…
Murkowski voted for Haaland today and also was lobbied on Tanden. But Rs see the stimulus bill as different

Lankford: “Alaska’s definitely a unique state, to say the least. But it is still part of a $2 trillion consequence, long-term, for the whole country.”
Rounds: "none of us begrudge the fact that she will look at that. We are hopeful that she will decide the amount of bad in the bill is enough to where she will decide it’s not appropriate to support it,”

Alaska socked by pandemic, lack of tourism
Read 4 tweets

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