CNN Congressional reporter Manu Raju said Thursday that, once Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) announced her position against changing Senate rules on the filibuster, there was “virtually no path” for the Democratic Party’s attempt to execute a federal overhaul of election laws.
“It’s not going very well for the White House. In fact, they are bound to fail. There’s virtually no path for this happening,” Raju said from Capitol Hill.
CNN’s Manu Raju after Biden met with Senate Democrats on voting: “It’s not going very well for the White House. In fact, they are bound to fail. There’s virtually no path for this happening.” pic.twitter.com/AZma3VGrEq
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 13, 2022
“Kyrsten Sinema shut the door to any changes to the Senate filibuster rules even before Joe Biden came here,” Raju continued. “And remember just the process of how this would play out. In order to pass a bill through the regular order, to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, that requires 60 votes — that means 50 Democrats, ten Republicans.”
“Republicans are steadfast against these two bills that Democrats are trying to approve, the Freedom to Vote Act and also the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, they oppose that,” Raju explained. “Now the other way is to change the rules. In order two change the rules to allow the bill to pass by just 51 votes — 50 votes with Kamala Harris breaking the tie — they need all Democrats on board in the 50/50 Senate. Sinema said she will not support lowering the 60-vote threshold, she worries that could have drastic ramifications for the country in the long term.”
Sinema made the announcement during a floor speech, saying that while she did support both pieces of legislation in question, she felt that changing the rules in order to force them through would ultimately create more problems than it could fix.
“Joe Manchin has not been in favor of that as well. He also opposes changing the rules along party lines,” Raju noted. “Meaning that there is no path for Joe Biden to move this, despite him investing political capital, despite him going to Georgia earlier this week and despite him coming up here to the Senate Democratic lunch in which he told Democrats — I’m told from a Democratic Senator — that if there are no voting rights bill that there are no rights at all.”
Raju concluded by noting that even Biden appeared to be resigned to the fact that the election overhaul was not going to move forward at this time, telling reporters after the Senate Democratic lunch that while he hoped to get it passed, he wasn’t certain that he’d be able to get it done.
Biden, appearing to admit defeat on ending the filibuster & nationalizing elections, randomly starts shouting: States’ voter reform laws are “about who gets to count the votes! Count the vote! Count the vote!” pic.twitter.com/66LpGL1ckQ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 13, 2022
Biden then pivoted to attack state legislatures for laws that he said were changing who had the right to count the votes, saying that his push for a federal overhaul of election laws was as much about “election subversion” and protecting who had the right to count the votes as it was about protecting any specific individual’s right to vote.
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