Amid President Joe Biden’s angry efforts to secure passage of a sweeping election overhaul via a change to the Senate’s filibuster rules, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) reaffirmed her resolve against weakening the 60-vote requirement and, together with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), dealt a likely death blow to yet another of the president’s key agenda items, as Fox News reports.
Just days after Biden traveled to Atlanta to demand a change in the upper chamber’s filibuster rules in an incendiary speech comparing political opponents to segregationists, the Arizona lawmaker took the Senate floor and made it very clear that despite the attempts of many in her party to convince her otherwise, she was holding firm to the position she has consistently held.
“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,” Sinema declared.
Making her principled stance quite clear, Sinema continued, “This week’s harried discussions about Senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughful public debate at any time over the past year.” WATCH:
BREAKING: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema praises proposed voting rights bills but reiterates support for filibuster rule, saying “I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.” https://t.co/ihVuth6xKF pic.twitter.com/GVNP9wBLYe
— ABC News (@ABC) January 13, 2022
Manchin, himself a holdout against his Democrat colleagues’ demands for an end to the filibuster offered his take on Sinema’s actions, reportedly declaring her remarks “very good” and an “excellent speech,” in what many believe was a clear indication of his own commitment to standing firm on the matter.
Not surprisingly, liberals did not take kindly to Sinema’s display of independent thinking, with former cable news curmudgeon Keith Olbermann demanding the senator’s resignation and calling her a “menace to the continuation of American democracy,” as Fox News noted separately, with political consultant Tom Watson accusing her of being a “plain old bigot” who has chosen the side of “white supremacy.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), however, had nothing but praise for his colleague on the other side of the aisle, saying “I think her speech was brilliant, and I like the way she phrased it,” adding that he was concerned for Sinema’s personal safety in light of the inflammatory racial rhetoric coming from her opponents.
Though Biden invited Sinema and Manchin to the White House Thursday evening for another discussion, no news of a change in position emerged as a result, and Democrats must now confront the reality of an administration in disarray and a liberal agenda in tatters, and that is something for which conservatives everywhere can breathe a big sigh of relief.