The ability for Republican and Democratic senators to sit together for more than three hours and listen as members spoke about filibusters on Monday night signals bipartisanship, said Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s Democratic senator, on Wednesday.
“You could tell they genuinely want to make it work. They really do. They sense that. Leadership and everybody has to come together for the common cause and the common good of this country,” Manchin said Wednesday on Morning Joe.
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to change the rules of the Senate to allow executive branch nominees to be approved with a simple majority. Senators emerged from a closed-door meeting on Monday night with no deal on the filibuster. But on Tuesday, Arizona Sen. John McCain brokered a deal with Democrats to preserve the filibuster in exchange for votes on several critical presidential appointees.
On gun reform, Manchin said President Obama probably won’t be able to help win the fight. The president doesn’t come from a gun culture, which makes it difficult for him to have an impact on changing senators’ opinions about a legislation bill, he said.
“For the president to go out and try to convince [senators], this is one time he might not be that person to be able to bring that fight,” he said.
Senators failed to pass a compromise background check bill in April. Democrats who voted against the legislation hail from “gun-friendly” states, and included Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Begich of Alaska.
Manchin, who supports the Second Amendment, said the reform bill enhances and strengthens Americans’ rights and asks for responsibility during the commercial transaction of a gun.