Joe Manchin Leaked Audio Reveals Disturbing Truth

( On June 16, the Intercept released leaked audio of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin playing both sides against the middle when it comes to filibuster reform.

While publicly Manchin has flat-out refused to back the Democrat Senate’s push to abolish the filibuster, privately in discussions with billionaire donors, Manchin is saying something different.

In the audio from a Zoom call Manchin held June 14 with the group No Labels, Manchin was asked by a participant if he would support lowering the 60-vote filibuster requirement down to 55 votes. Manchin responded by telling the person “that’s one of many good, good suggestions.”

While reiterating that he is not in favor of abolishing the filibuster completely, Manchin did say he was “open to looking at” lowering the 60-vote threshold.

“Right now,” Manchin added “60 is where I planted my flag.” But so long as his donors know that he would protect the filibuster, he is open to other possible solutions.

Manchin also discussed that, instead of putting the onus on those looking to garner 60 votes, the onus should be placed instead on the minority and require 41 “no” votes to kill a bill. During the vote on establishing a January 6 commission, the cloture vote failed to garner 60 votes, but the minority only garnered 35. In Manchin’s alternate universe, the failure to garner 41 “no” votes would not have stopped the January 6 Commission vote from moving forward.

To his mind, Manchin believes requiring 41 votes to stop cloture would be “pretty constructive.”

Manchin also believes requiring those objecting to the bill to “basically state your objection and why you’re filibustering.” He also believes opposition must offer changes to the bill that would get them to agree to support it.

However, in his op-ed published two weeks ago in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin was unequivocal – stating that under no circumstances would he “vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster.”

Republicans would be wise not to count on Joe Manchin’s public statements in the future.