Now It’s Two Dems: Sinema Will Oppose Eliminating Filibuster, Report Says

Senate Majority Leader Joe Manchin has already said he would oppose eliminating it
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that there is another Democrat who is not willing to eliminate the filibuster besides Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV); Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema.

The Post reported:

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) has been the most outspoken Democratic opponent of changing Senate rules and has sought to assemble a bipartisan cadre of centrist senators willing to hammer out deals across the aisle. But other Democrats are similarly resistant. A spokeswoman for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) said the senator is “against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

The Post indicated the ranks of those Democrats opposed to eliminating the filibuster may swell beyond two: “Meanwhile, other Democratic senators, including Jon Tester (Mont.), have also signaled support for the status quo while hinting that GOP stonewalling could change their minds.”

On January 10, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper, Manchin stated that he was against eliminating the legislative filibuster, saying, “I’m basically for making this place work together. I don’t know if that works. I’d be no on that.”

Because of the filibuster, a minimum of 60 votes is needed to advance legislation; most Democratic proposals would require at least 10 GOP senators to agree in order for them to be passed. Eliminating the legislative filibuster would enable the Democrats to pass legislation with a simple majority vote.

The way the filibuster works is this: the minority party can keep debate open on a legislative issue until the Senate votes to close the issue, but to close the vote takes 60 votes. There are limitations on the filibuster: it cannot be used for certain budget bills, federal executive branch appointees and judicial appointments, including Supreme Court nominees.

The exchange between Tapper and Manchin went like this:

Tapper: It’s tough getting a senator to do a lightning round, but I have to ask you because we have less than a minute.

Manchin: Okay. Let’s do it.

Tapper: Eliminating the legislative filibuster. Yes or no?

Manchin: Oh, Jake, I’m basically for making this place work together. I don’t know if that works. I’d be no on that.

Tapper: So it’s a no. Statehood for Washington D.C.?

Manchin: I don’t know enough about that yet; I want to see the pros and cons, so I’m waiting to see all the facts. I’m open enough to see everything.

Tapper: Statehood for Puerto Rico?

Manchin: Same thing. I need more facts on that.

Tapper: What about a ban on some forms of semi-automatic weapons?

Manchin: Oh, Jake, there has to be responsibility in gun ownership; I’m not gonna eliminate people having their gun. They shouldn’t be scared to death of Democrats on the 2ndAmendment taking their guns away. I went to the shooting range yesterday, started practicing again just to get back in shape. So no, we’re not going to take people’s guns away, but there is (sic) things that we should not have in people’s hands.

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