Another Democrat says no to Biden bid to end filibuster

Another Democrat says no to Biden bid to end filibuster

Another Democrat says no to Biden bid to end filibuster

WASHINGTON — Shortly before President Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats Thursday, hoping to jolt their stalled voting legislation, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema blunted the bill's chances further, declaring she could not support a “short sighted” rules change to get past a Republican blockade.

The answer to divisiveness in the Senate is not to change filibuster rules so one party, even hers, can muscle controversial bills to passage, the Arizona Democrat said. "We must address the disease itself, the disease of division, to protect our democracy,”

Since taking control of Congress and the White House last year, Democrats have vowed to bring in legislation that would give the federal government complete control over election across the country. But their efforts have stalled in the narrowly divided Senate, where they lack the 60 votes out of 100 to overcome a Republican filibuster.

“In recent years, nearly every party-line response to the problems we face in this body, every partisan action taken to protect a cherished value has led us to more division, not less,” Sinema said from the Senate floor.

For weeks, Sinema and fellow moderate Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia have come under intense pressure to support a rule change that would allow the party to pass their legislation with a simple majority — a step both have long opposed.

By taking to the Senate floor shortly before Biden's arrival, Sinema made clear she would not go along, further damaging the party's already slim chances to pass one of its top priorities.

Republicans are nearly unanimous in opposing the legislation, viewing it as federal overreach that would infringe on states’ abilities to conduct their own elections. And they’ve pointed out that Democrats opposed changes to the filibuster that Trump sought when he was president.