Stacey Abrams says she backs Manchin's revisions to Democrats' voting rights bill

Democrats continue voting rights push with Sen. Manchin in opposition

Fox News’ congressional correspondent Chad Pergram has the latest from Capitol Hill on ‘America’s Newsroom’

Influential Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams said Thursday she could “absolutely” support Sen. Joe Manchin’s revisions to Democrats’ sweeping election reform legislation, giving the plan a key endorsement in the Senate.

The former gubernatorial hopeful and powerful voting rights activist said during an interview Thursday that the West Virginia moderate put together “strong” standards that will create a “level playing field” and ensure better access to voting. When asked if she could support his compromise, Abrams said “absolutely.”

“What Sen. Manchin is putting forward are some basic building blocks that we need to ensure that democracy is accessible no matter your geography,” Abrams said on CNN. 

Manchin has been circulating a three-page compromise plan to the comprehensive S.1 bill, which the senator said he couldn’t support because it was too partisan. Under his plan, he backs making Election Day a national holiday, mandating at least 15 days of early voting before federal elections and requiring voter ID with allowable alternatives.

Manchin Voting Compromise by Fox News

Time is running out for any sort of coalition building. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who has been firmly in support of the original S.1 For the People Act legislation, said he’s bringing the bill up for a procedural vote on the Senate floor Tuesday that could pave the way for considering Manchin’s proposal. With the legislative filibuster in place, at least 10 Republicans would have to join all Democrats to open debate.

Manchin said the original legislation is too partisan and voting reforms should be the result of bipartisan compromise.

Manchin said earlier Thursday that he hoped to get GOP support for his plan and had been talking with Abrams about his proposals. “Reasonable people agree with this,” he said. 

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., quickly denounced Manchin’s revisions as “unacceptable” and said he thinks “all Republicans” will oppose his plan should it come to a vote in the Senate. 

Fox News’ Kelly Phares, Jacqui Heinrich and Jason Donner contributed to this report. 

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