OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
After a pressure campaign mounted by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris against a handful of Democrat senators to change the filibuster rules one of those senators has a response that is likely to make them furious.
Democrat Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said Thursday that she is not going to vote to change the filibuster rules and that is her final word on it.
The senator appeared to be annoyed that she has had to state her position on it again as she has done so many times and it has never changed.
“There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy,” she said, Fox News reported. “This week’s harried discussions about Senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year.”
“But what is the legislative filibuster, other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators, representing the broader cross-section of Americans… Demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon, shouting that solution to their colleagues,” she said.
Her reasons are valid, as policies could, and likely would, switch dramatically each time a new party took the power in the Senate.
The senator confirmed that she does still support the voting bills that Democrats want to pass, but she is not willing to change the rules during the game just to get what she wants.
“While I continue to support these bills I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” she said.
BREAKING: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema praises proposed voting rights bills but reiterates support for filibuster rule, saying "I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country." https://t.co/ihVuth6xKF pic.twitter.com/GVNP9wBLYe
— ABC News (@ABC) January 13, 2022
This is a direct response to Biden and Harris’ pressure campaign on these senators and Sen. Sinema shoved back just as hard.
Harris appeared on NBC News where she attacked Republicans, and some of her fellow Democrat Senators for not doing what she wants them to do with the filibuster.
Harris suggested that Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona were somehow violating their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution by opposed the filibuster rule change to pass the misnamed “For the People Act,” a massive voting reform bill Republicans have blasted as an attempt to federalize all elections.
“I will not absolve the 50 Republicans in the United States Senate from responsibility, from upholding one of the most basic tenants of our democracy which is free and fair elections and access to the ballot for all eligible voters,” Harris said.
She was then asked host Craig Melvin what message she has for Sinema and Manchin, but she gave the same response.
“I don’t think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy especially when they took an oath to protect our Constitution,” Harris said.
Following Biden’s factless and angry speech, Kamala Harris divisively suggests that lawmakers who don’t support Biden’s agenda or his push to eliminate the filibuster violate their “oath to protect & defend our Constitution” pic.twitter.com/14Y4i1y4FW
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 13, 2022
And Biden, during his speech, compared siding against this voting legislation with being on the side of some of the most anti-Civil Rights people in the history of the nation, which drew criticism even from Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin.
“Do you want to be … on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” the president said in the speech.
Joe Biden said during this speech that people who disagree with his bill to federalize elections are "domestic enemies" and are on the side of George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis.
What you see here is truly the soul of nation being restored. pic.twitter.com/P2gZi5K0nS
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 11, 2022
“It is stark, and I will concede that point,” the senator said when he was interviewed by CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
“Perhaps the president went a little too far in his rhetoric. Some of us do, but the fundamental principles and values at stake are very, very similar,” he said.