Senate Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema said on Thursday that the Senate’s procedural rule known as a filibuster was a necessary tool to bring political divisions to a close, just hours before President Joe Biden was expected to ask Democrats to end the rule in order to clear the way for a voting-rights bill.
To terminate discussion on legislation and allow it to be voted on, Sinema and fellow moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin reject any changes to the filibuster rule, which needs 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to stop debate and allow it to be voted on.
Their opposition to a significant voting-rights law, which is opposed by all 50 Senate Republicans, is likely to stymie Democratic efforts to enact it.
While supporting legislation to safeguard voting rights, Sinema stated that she will not support “separate acts that aggravate the fundamental cancer of divisiveness in our country.”
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Earlier modifications to the filibuster, such as the removal of the 60-vote barrier for judicial candidates, were described as “shortsighted” by her and other senators and administrations in previous sessions of the Senate.