Catholic Sister Responds to Senator Manchin’s S.1 Opposition

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2021
Contact: Colleen Ross, cross@networklobby.org, 202-601-7877
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Catholic Sister Responds to Senator Manchin’s S.1 Opposition
Sr. Quincy Howard: “Senate Democrats must demonstrate the leadership to do what is needed to pass the For the People Act — there is no other option.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), declared his opposition to S.1, the For the People Act, in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, just days after four West Virginia faith leaders — a Catholic Sister, Baptist Minister, Episcopal Bishop, and Rabbi — published an op-ed in the same paper urging their Senators to support the legislation.

Sister Quincy Howard, OP, Government Relations Specialist for NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:

“Senator Manchin’s opposition to S.1 is based on political considerations alone — that no Republican currently supports the bill. In 2019, Senator Manchin cosponsored S.1 and he remains in agreement with the vast majority of the substance of the bill. Passing S.1 is the only right option given the choices at hand. Too much is at stake for this bill not to pass—we are at a tipping point and S.1 will push the scales toward democracy while it is still possible.

“Senator Manchin claims that a comprehensive, bold bill like For the People Act passing along partisan lines in the current political context would risk further harming our country, but our current democratic crisis is much deeper and more serious than partisan differences. The GOP in the Senate just filibustered the creation of a bipartisan January 6 commission, demonstrating without a doubt that protecting our country and our democracy is far from their priorities.

“Senator Manchin’s calculation assumes the GOP are operating in good faith to help heal the nation. Unfortunately, there is no indication of this from Republican Party leaders and in the meantime, the anti-democratic downward spiral in states across our nation moves ahead full-speed. Without S.1, we will see growing suppressive tactics to maintain control over our diversifying civic body. The Republican Party must be saved from the immoral, unjust, and untenable path it is following.

“A handful of Republican Senators have shown minimal interest in working with Democrats to protect our democracy, but with the filibuster rule in place that is not enough. Senate Democrats must demonstrate the leadership to do what is needed to pass the For the People Act — there is no other option. The public wants these reforms and the nation needs them. I urge Senator Manchin to show true leadership and commitment to democracy if he hopes to have a legacy that aligns with the arc of history bending towards justice.

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NETWORK, a national Catholic Social Justice lobby, which educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation, has a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good.

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