Senator Krysten Sinema publicly announced on the Senate Floor that she would be opposing President Joe Biden’s attempt to junk the filibuster, likely sealing the fate of the Democrats long sought ‘voting rights’ bill.
As The New York Times reports:
WASHINGTON — President Biden’s drive to push new voting rights protections through Congress hit a major obstacle on Thursday when Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, declared that she would not support undermining the Senate filibuster to enact new laws under any circumstances.
Pre-empting a presidential visit to the Capitol to meet privately with Democrats, Ms. Sinema took to the floor to say that while she backed two new voting rights measures and was alarmed about new voting restrictions in some states, she believed that a unilateral Democratic move to weaken the filibuster would only foster growing political division.
“These bills help treat the symptoms of the disease, but they do not fully address the disease itself,” Ms. Sinema said. “And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.”
Her comments were a major setback for Mr. Biden, who delivered a speech in Atlanta two days earlier calling for a change in Senate rules if necessary. Ms. Sinema has been under pressure from her colleagues to drop her opposition to a rules change, but her refusal to reverse course appeared to doom the bills in the Senate.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has also expressed his opposition to the Democrat attempt to junk the filibuster.