Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin have rejected a plan by their party’s leaders to change Senate rules to allow passage of two major voting rights bills. Speaking from the Senate floor Thursday, Senator Sinema said she would not vote to change the filibuster, even as she claimed to support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: “There’s no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. And there’s no need for me to restate its role protecting our country from wild reversals in federal policy.”
Sinema was joined later on Thursday by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who said he, too, would oppose a change to the filibuster. Their opposition all but dooms the prospect the 117th Congress will pass voting rights legislation. President Biden reacted to the news.
President Joe Biden: “I hope we can get this done. The honest-to-God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will delay a scheduled January recess to take up voting rights legislation on Tuesday — one day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.