On Wednesday, the United States Senate voted to keep the filibuster despite calls by Democrat Senators to remove it. Thanks to a solid Republican vote, plus two more from Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema, the Senate managed to keep the filibuster.
Democrats’ Nuclear Option Failed As Senate Keeps The Filibuster
Despite threatening Republicans with a “nuclear option” if they voted to keep the filibuster, Democrats failed in their attempt to remove it.
The final vote that helped the Senate keep the filibuster was 52-48. If both parties voted on party lines, it would have tied at 50 all. If this happens, Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, will vote for the tie-breaker in favor of her party.
Instead, Manchin and Sinema thwarted plans made by Democrat Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Both Democrats voted with the Republicans in ensuring that the Senate will keep the filibuster. As a result, two election rights bills filed by Democrats won’t get to see a floor vote.
Democrats Split Their Party Votes
As expected, Schumer reacted bitterly to the defeat that got help from his own party mates. He spoke on the Senate floor after the resounding defeat.
“A few hours ago this chamber, with the eyes of the nation upon it and with the evidence of vote suppression laid bare before it, he said. … took a vote to move to final passage on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
It received 50 votes, and with the vice president we would have had a majority,” he said. “Even if you think the filibuster is a good thing, is it protecting voting rights, and preventing their diminution more important?” he asked.
Schumer’s proposal to end the filibuster only applies to the two election bills laid before the Senate floor.
However, getting rid of the filibuster means that voting for the bills would become a strictly partisan affair. Sinema and Manchin, even though they said they support the voting bills, made it clear they do not support the removal of the filibuster.
Manchin, Sinema Voted To Keep The Filibuster Despite Supporting The Voting Rights Bills
Meanwhile, Sinema defended her decision to vote against removing the filibuster. Last week, she said that she won’t support removing a Senate tradition even if she supported voting rights.
“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,” the Arizona senator said.
Meanwhile, Manchin also said he is against the removal of the filibuster. He said that removing the filibuster means giving one party complete control in the Senate.
“A simple majority will only pour fuel on the fire of political whiplash and dysfunction that is tearing this nation apart,” he said. He added that protecting the minority, whether Democrat or Republican, protected the country over the last 233 years.
Historically, Both Parties Tried To Remove The Filibuster
With this latest attempt, Democrats have now tried to remove the filibuster twice, with Republicans also attempting it once.
The late Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) tried it during President Barack Obama’s term. In 2017, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also tried to remove the senate mechanism. Fast forward to 2022, and the Senate still gets to keep the filibuster.
A filibuster is when a Senate member takes action such as a prolonged speech during debate that ultimately prevents the chamber from doing its job. Only a three-fifths majority vote can effectively put an end to the debate.
Watch the KTLA 5 video reporting that Democrats’ voting bill faces defeat in Senate as Manchin, Sinema won’t stop GOP filibuster:
Do you support the Senate vote that helped keep the filibuster? Do you applaud the decision made by Senators Manchin and Sinema to break party lines and vote with the GOP?
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