Senate Republicans on Monday applauded Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) vow not to vote to weaken the filibuster even as many in his caucus move towards supporting some form of significant reform, with most expressing belief he will stick to his words.

Key Facts

“I’m proud of him,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Forbes, while Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said it “really takes some guts” for Manchin to take that position, adding that she’s “thankful he’s standing up and saying this is the right thing to do.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was perhaps the most enthusiastic, tweeting the article twice last week, including with the caption, “Way to go, Joe.”

Manchin, in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this month, said there is “no circumstance” in which he would eliminate or weaken the Senate filibuster, also expressing concern about overusing budget reconciliation, which allows Democrats to circumvent the need for 10 Republican votes on certain economic legislation.

Most senators expressed confidence Manchin would stick to his word, with Cornyn calling him a “man of his word,” and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 ranking Senate Republican, noting he’s been “very consistent” in his position.

“I think Joe Manchin believes what he said in that op-ed,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, noting that Manchin has expressed his opposition to weakening the filibuster in private as well.

But top Democrats aren’t so sure: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told reporters he’s spoken with Manchin “at greater length than any of those articles” and suggested he would still be open to reforms that “make it a real filibuster,” such as a standing filibuster.

Key Background

Manchin said last month that he would be open to making the filibuster “painful” by forcing senators to physically stand and speak while they are doing it. That is also a position adopted by President Joe Biden, once an opponent of weakening the filibuster, whose legislative agenda has faced unified opposition from Senate Republicans. 

Crucial Quote

“You know, I respect his views, and I know he wants what’s right for the country and West Virginia,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told Forbes, expressing hope that Manchin will “rethink some of those views.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said “the American people, unlike the media here in DC, are not all that fixated on process. What they want is action.”


Manchin’s wife, Gayle Connelly Manchin, had her nomination by Biden for co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission transmitted to the Senate on Monday. Asked on Monday if he’s confident his wife will be confirmed, Manchin shrugged.