Sinema Deals Death Blow to Biden's Final Push to Suspend Filibuster




 

Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema declared Thursday that she will not vote to suspend the filibuster in order to pass two voting bills championed by her party, all but guaranteeing that President Biden's top legislative priority will fail.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Sinema reiterated her well-established commitment to preserving filibuster and rejected the argument - made by her party leaders and Biden himself - that the rule represents an unacceptable obstacle to passing the Freedom to Vote Act and For the People Act.

"There's no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There's no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy," she said before the chamber Thursday. "This week's harried discussions about senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year."

"But what is the legislative filibuster, other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by Senators, representing the broader cross-section of Americans?," the senator asked. "Demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon, shouting that solution to their colleagues."

She said that she is dedicated to making her public service in Congress reflect the diversity of her constituency in Arizona and the nation at large, urging her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stop viewing them as ideological monoliths.

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that merged both bills, but it will not advance in the evenly-divided 50-50 Senate given Sinema's opposition.

Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who has also repeatedly refused to endorse any effort to weaken the filibuster, applauded Sinema for standing firm Thursday. "Very good. Excellent speech," he said.

President Biden delivered a speech in Georgia Tuesday lobbying Republicans to join Democrats in advancing their voting legislation or risk falling on the wrong side of history that suppressed and disenfranchised the minority voice.

"At consequential moments in history, they present a choice," said Biden in his speech. "Do you want to be the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?"

  • Ilhan Omar Says Senate Democrats Obstructing Effort to Eliminate Filibuster 'Are Killing our Democracy'

  • Bernie Sanders Urges House Democrats to Hold Infrastructure Bill Hostage Until Reconciliation Package Passes

  • Congressional Progressive Caucus Prepares to Block Infrastructure Bill if Reconciliation Budget Fails

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