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Opinion Manchin’s bill requires 50 votes. Defending constitutional rights should, too.

Sen. Joe Manchin's bill on clean energy, prescription drug costs and tax fairness passes. He says Republicans have refused to engage in any reasonable discussion on the deal. But since Republicans won’t cooperate, Democrats must move ahead with the reconciliation process. It’s tautology to say that reconciliation process applies only to tax and spending rules under limited circumstances. Why should items not directly tied to spending have to be stripped out of legislation? Democrats can leave the filibuster in place if they must but can simply alter the Senate's “Byrd rules” governing reconciliation bills so that measures pertaining to the restoration or protection of fundamental rights can be included. An infrastructure bill could also include “democracy infrastructure” that protects voting rights.

If voters send two more Democrats to the Senate and somehow hold the House, they should use their