Politics

Dems’ ‘Nuclear Option’ Push Fails, Election Bills Dead, After Sinema And Manchin Vote To Keep Filibuster

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Democrats’ attempt to use a “nuclear option” to get around the filibuster for two major elections bills failed Wednesday after the gambit from Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was stymied by Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Manchin, D-W. Va., and Sinema, D-Ariz., joined all Senate Republicans in opposing the attempt to alter the Senate filibuster on party lines, resulting in a 48-52 final tally. That vote followed a failed attempt by Democrats to advance the election bills over the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold. All Republicans opposed it.

“A few hours ago this chamber, with the eyes of the nation upon it and with the evidence of vote suppression laid bare before it… took a vote to move to final passage on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday. “It received 50 votes, and with the vice president we would have had a majority.”

Schumer added: “Even if you think the filibuster is a good thing, isn’t protecting voting rights, and preventing their diminution more important?”

The filibuster change Schumer proposed would only apply to the elections bills the Senate was considering Wednesday. But it was nonetheless attempted using the partisan nuclear option Sinema and Manchin made clear repeatedly said they opposed – even though they support the underlying bills.

“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 said last week.

“Allowing one party to exert complete control in the Senate with only a simple majority will only… (Read more)

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