'Morally indefensible' and 'insane': Miners and Civil Rights leaders ramp up the pressure on Joe Manchin

'Morally indefensible' and 'insane': Miners and Civil Rights leaders ramp up the pressure on Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) // CBS News

For months now, Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W-Va.) has worked tirelessly to block Democratic progress by stalling critical voting rights legislation and efforts to reform the filibuster.

While he appears to have no intention of stopping his show, a number of groups are growing tired of his antics. According to Truthout, Manchin recently attended a meeting with civil rights leaders and activists who are fed up with his attempts to block progress.

Speaking to Politico on Monday, NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson explained the reason for the meeting, which he and representatives of a number of organizations— including the National Urban League, the National Council of Negro Women, the NAACP, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—attended.

"The goal of the meeting for us in the civil rights leadership is to establish and build the relationship," Johnson said. "There was no particular item on the agenda, but we will have a conversation about our policy priorities and hopes to open up the dialogue so that we can, in fact, have the type of give-and-take opportunity to ensure that all Americans are supported."

Despite the efforts to appeal to Manchin, the lawmaker appears to be resolute in his way of thinking. At the time, CNN's Manu Raju offered details about the meeting.

"Meeting between civil rights activists and Manchin over S1 didn't change his mind," said Raju. He added, "'I don't think anybody changed positions on that,' Manchin said, calling the conversation 'constructive.'"

Poor People's Campaign co-chair the Rev. William Barber weighed in with The Washington Post.

"Even if [Manchin] doesn't change," Barber told The Washington Post, "we have to bear witness to how his policies are hurting the democracy, are a form of political and legislative violence, and that he is standing more on the side of the corporate lobbyists rather than poor and low-wealth workers and people across this country."

Although very little progress was made, civil rights leaders show no signs of backing down.

United Mine Workers (UMWA) International President Cecil Roberts described Manchin's actions as "wrong, constitutionally inconsistent, historically inaccurate, morally indefensible, economically insane, and politically unacceptable."

"It is wrong for these states to attack the basic rights of citizens to participate in our democracy," said Roberts. "Congress should be doing everything possible to not just maintain, but expand voting access and create freer and fairer elections. If only one party is interested in doing that, then so be it."


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