OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrats appear to be determined to learn another lesson from another moderate Democrat they are not going to be able to strong arm.
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has ended Democrats’ plans to change the filibuster rules to pass voting legislation that would supersede state’s voting laws, Politico reported.
The senator made it known, in a message from her spokesperson, that she is not going to consider changing the rules to pass the legislation that Democrats want.
The spokesperson said that the senator “continues to support the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, to protect the country from repeated radical reversals in federal policy which would cement uncertainty, deepen divisions, and further erode Americans’ confidence in our government.”
The senator does support passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, but she is not prepared to change the Senate rules to do it.
“Senator Sinema has asked those who want to weaken or eliminate the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation which she supports if it would be good for our country to do so,” her spokesperson John LaBombard said.
He argued that if they did that then it could be “rescinded in a few years and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law, nationwide restrictions on vote-by-mail, or other voting restrictions currently passing in some states extended nationwide.”
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said in an interview that he supports a carve out to the filibuster to pass the voting rights legislation that Democrats want.
“If the only thing standing between getting voting rights legislation passed and not getting passed is the filibuster, I support making the exception of voting rights for the filibuster,” he said to ABC News reporter David Muir.
And he is not the only one pressuring Sens. Manchin and Sinema.
“I would ask you to consider this question: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same?” Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a letter to Democrats on Monday, Yahoo News reported.
“I believe our constituents deserve to know which Senators choose to hide behind ill-conceived and abused rules,” he said. “Therefore … Members will be given the chance to debate on the Senate floor and cast a vote so that their choice on this matter is clear and available for everyone to see.”
Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell believe that Democrats have more than voting rights on their minds when it comes to the idea of eliminating the filibuster.
“Senator Kyrsten Sinema has been unequivocal in support of the filibuster. For your listeners, that prevents radicalism. The reason the Democrats want to get rid of the filibuster is they want to admit two new states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and pack the Supreme Court and fundamentally change the structure of America forever. The filibuster prevents extremism. It’s always frustrating when you’re in the majority and wish you could do everything you wanted to. The Senate was designed to make it difficult to have radical change in the country unless there are huge majorities on one side or the other. So it is the essence of the Senate is the legislative filibuster, and I admire and respect Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin for saying they are not changing it,” he said to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
But that does not mean that Democrats are going to stop attempting to pressure them.