Leaked Audio Reveals Joe Manchin Making Deal With Billionaire Donors To Preserve Filibuster

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Published on 17 Jun 2021, 18:00
Leaked audio of a call from Monday that was given to The Intercept reveals Senator Joe Manchin telling wealthy donors that he would vote to preserve the filibuster in exchange for Republican support on the January 6th Commission. Sadly, this is the way the game is played in Washington, D.C., though that doesn't make the contents of this call any less infuriating. They play games while we suffer in the distance. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins explains what's happening.

Link - theintercept.com/2021/06/16/jo...

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

On a zoom teleconference earlier this week, democratic Senator Joe Manchin told this group, which included super rich donors on the call for this no labels group, explained to them why he wants to preserve the filibuster. And also tried to convince them to convince maybe some moderate Republicans, people like Roy Blunt of Missouri, to vote in favor of the January 6th commission, possibly, you know, maybe that's why, maybe that's why I'm going to keep voting no on the filibuster reform, because you're going to help me do this other thing. Here's the thing, this is great reporting by the way, from both Lee Fang and Ryan Grim over at the Intercept, they got their hands on this audio, reported this and yes, this is shady. This is disgusting. This is trying to say like, you scratch my back, I scratch your back. But none of it's illegal.

So I don't want to give the impression that what took place on this phone call is illegal because it's not and believe it or not, that's actually the problem. I think that's the bigger story here. But real quick, just to kind of recap again, Manchin, and no labels, by the way, doesn't want the filibuster to go away. Manchin tells them he's going to keep voting no against the filibuster, but I also need you guys, you know, get with Roy Blunt, see if you can get him to vote yes in favor of the January 6th commission, which is a very important thing. Honestly, I'm kind of glad to see Manchin out there, actually working on this, trying to get votes for it. That's a good thing. Not at the expense of the filibuster, however, but that brings me back to the overall main point. This is how the game is played. And we don't like it. We don't fully understand it because we're not a part of it. But it is how the game is played. Now don't get me wrong, that doesn't make any of this okay.

What I'm trying to show you is that to these people, to people like Manchin, it is in fact a game. You know, like they're collecting baseball cards or, or, or Pokemon cards or whatever it is you collect if, if you understand the analogy here. You know, oh, okay, I've got the votes over here for this one, but I need two over here. So what if I trade you one of these and we don't do this, but in exchange you give me what I need over here for this hand and then everybody, you know, gets a little bit of what they want instead of nobody getting anything. It is these little quid pro quos. And again, they're not illegal. When I say that, I'm not implying that they're illegal in any way. This is just how the deals are made, how the sausage is made, essentially. And it sucks because for these people, it is in fact, a game. They have nothing at stake. They have nothing at stake with most of this legislation that comes through their chambers. We do. This is legislation that for many of us in America, millions of us, this would affect our lives every single day. But to them, it's a vote they can trade away.

You know, maybe I need it for this. Maybe I hold back because I need a favor over here for this thing. Maybe I gotta see if I can get a deal going with this person because they got something in the works that I'm going to vote against, but I need them still for this. So who knows. Those are the kinds of things that take place behind the scenes.
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