Joe Manchin defends the filibuster, but eliminating it could make him the most powerful senator

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) may be artificially limiting his own ability to influence legislation through his efforts to defend the filibuster.

"If Democrats eliminate the filibuster, there is one senator who would have an outsized impact in the 50-50 chamber on issues that could reshape the nation's future: infrastructure, immigration, gun laws and voting rights. That senator is Joe Manchin III of West Virginia.There is also a senator whose opposition to eliminating the filibuster is a significant reason it may never happen. That senator, too, is Mr. Manchin," Jonathan Martin wrote for The New York Times.

"Mr. Manchin, however, does not see it that way. To the exasperation of Democrats, delight of Republicans and bewilderment of politicians who can't understand why he wouldn't want to wield more power, Mr. Manchin, a former governor of the state, isn't budging," he explained. "That puts Mr. Manchin, 73, at the center of the most important policy debates in Washington — and has set the stage for a collision between a party eager to use its majorities to pass sweeping legislation and a political throwback determined to restore bipartisanship to a chamber that's as polarized as the country."

Manchin, for his part, seems to care less about Democrats focused on policy outcomes.

"What are they going to do, they going to go into West Virginia and campaign against me? Please, that would help me more than anything," Manchin argued.

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