Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) – who dealt a potentially fatal blow to the Democrats’ election reform legislation by refusing President Biden’s push to reform Senate filibuster rules – appears to have avoided Biden as he spoke to reporters after meeting with Senate Democrats to the legislation.
In a video posted on YouTube, as Biden speaks to reporters, Sinema can be seen emerging from a Senate room in the background. As soon as Sinema appears to see Biden, she turns around and walks in the other direction.
Under current Senate rules, at least 60 senators would need to support Biden’s election reform legislation for it to pass. With the 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to support the bill for it to have any chance of passing. In order to bypass this, Biden has pushed for eliminating the filibuster, which would effectively allow Democrats to ram through their legislation.
On Thursday, Sinema announced that she did not support eliminating the filibuster to allow the bills to pass through the Senate.
“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,” Sinema said, according to Fox News. “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 continued.
“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 added.
“Some have given up on the goal of erasing our divisions and uniting Americans. I have not,” Sinema stated. “I’ve worked hard to demonstrate in my public service, the value of working with unlikely allies to get results.”
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