In an exercise in futility, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) tried to ram through a carve-out of the filibuster on Wednesday in order to pass through the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Acts.
For several months two of Schumer’s constituents, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have publically announced they will not support removing or modifying the filibuster rule.
Let me be clear: I will not vote to pack the courts & I will not vote to end the filibuster. The U.S. Senate is the most deliberative body in the world. It was made so that we work together in a bipartisan way. If you get rid of the filibuster, there's no reason to have a Senate. pic.twitter.com/g0fasdzVmt
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 10, 2020
BREAKING: "There's no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation," Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says one day after Pres. Biden announced support for changing filibuster rule to pass voting rights bills. "It is the view I continue to hold." pic.twitter.com/h6TAnrJT14
— ABC News (@ABC) January 13, 2022
As expected, the U.S. Senate blocked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) late-night gambit to nuke the filibuster and pass two “voter bills.”
The Senate voted on Schumer’s motion to overrule the legislative filibuster; the motion failed 48-52. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), two moderate Democrats opposed to the reform, voted against Schumer’s gambit.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the day was “in all likelihood is the most important day in the history of the Senate as an institution.”
McConnell and Republicans have argued that removing the filibuster would undermine the Senate and its role as a deliberative body.
McConnell called the filibuster proposal all “smoke and mirrors.”
The leading Senate Republican called for Republicans and Democrats to find compromises rather than breaking the centuries-old rule which has been used 100’s of times by the Democrats in the last year alone.
Sinema said in a statement after the vote:
Tonight, I voted again to support legislation safeguarding and expanding Americans’ access to the ballot box and strengthening faith in our elections. I also maintained my longstanding opposition to separate actions that would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty and further eroding confidence in our government. Tonight’s votes must not be the end of our work to protect our democracy. That goal requires all Americans everywhere to unite around sustained strategies in support of free, fair, and open elections in which every vote is fairly counted. These challenges cannot be solved by one party or Washington alone.
Tonight also should not be the end of our efforts to make the Senate work better. Senators of both parties have offered ideas — including some that would earn my support — to make this body more productive, more deliberative, and more responsive to Americans’ needs.
She added, “I remain committed to working with colleagues in both parties to protect and strengthen American democracy and seek lasting solutions for the Americans we serve.
It is refreshing to see politicians who reached out to their constituents, made a decision, shared their positions publically, and have the fortitude to stay the course when the time comes to vote accordingly.
Senators Manchin and Sinema both represent states with large conservative bases, so voting to defend the 100-year-old filibuster rule requiring large majorities when important bills are up for debate, is what those whom they represent, would have wanted.
Written By: Eric Thompson, host of the Eric Thompson Show.