The Democrats have been dealt another major blow to their radical plans by a member of their own party, as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema revealed on Thursday she will not vote to dismantle overturn the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold.
The Dems have struggled to get some, moderate party members like Sinema to fall in line due to the far-left nature of the bills the party is trying to get passed.
Sinema’s affirmation that she will not be supporting the party’s attack on the filibuster make it virtually impossible for Democrats to forcefully ram two elections bills past unified Senate GOP opposition.
“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 said.
“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.”
She continued, “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… 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.”
The more progressive House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday morning which combined both original pieces of legislation: The John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Luckily, this bill will not get 60 votes in the Senate, which is split 50-50 on party lines.
In order to make any changes to the filibuster, the Democrats would need all 50 Dem Senators to sign on. Sinema’s unwavering stance means they do not have the numbers to achieve that.
“These bills help treat the symptoms of the disease, but they do not fully address the disease itself. And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division affecting our country,” Sinema also said Thursday.
“Some have given up on the goal of erasing our divisions and uniting Americans. I have not,” she added. “I’ve worked hard to demonstrate in my public service, the value of working with unlikely allies to get results.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may still attempt to force a “nuclear option” vote to carve out an exception to the filibuster for voting rights, though it’s likely that such a vote would fail.
Though the “nuclear option” could be the party’s way of turning up the pressure on Sinema and other moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin who do not blindly do whatever the top members of the party tell them. But increased pressure has not worked on those senators so far this Congress, and it appears unlikely to work this time either.
“Today marks the longest time in history that the Senate has been equally divided,” Sinema said Thursday. “The House of Representatives is nearly equally divided as well. Our mandate, it seems evident to me, [is] work together and get stuff done for America.”
Author: Joseph Martin