The new voting rights legislation, the For the People Act of 2021, will never get passed until the filibuster is modified or removed entirely. And U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has made it clear that he’s not willing to consider either of those possibilities, even reverting to the old fashioned filibuster where a senator has to remain speaking for hours on end. So I think it’s time for President Joe Biden to channel some of President Lyndon Johnson’s techniques to help convince Senator Manchin to change his mind (”Manchin is wrong to ignore basic rights of Americans,” June 9).
President Johnson would have asked Senator Manchin to visit the Oval Office and then reminded him of the thousands of West Virginia residents who are employed at branches of federal agencies located in his state. These agencies include the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, at least three FBI offices, the General Services Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many of those offices were located in West Virginia solely due to the influence of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd.
President Biden needs to remind Senator Manchin that those facilities can easily be moved to states whose senators plan to support the president. If there was ever a time for hardball, this is it.
Steve Fox, Columbia
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