Democrats suffered a devastating political defeat in the Senate on Wednesday night.
Moderate Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin sided with the GOP to kill a push to abolish the legislative filibuster that is blocking Biden’s much-touted, but completely unjustified “voting rights” legislation.
‘Nuclear Option’ Blew in Democrats’ Faces
The Democrats’ defeat was all the more painful, since the procedural moves they took to create a filibuster carve-out for Biden’s unjustified electoral reform bills were supposed to be their “nuclear option.”
Sleepy Joe’s much-touted “voting rights” bills were doomed, as there was no way for the Senate Democrats to secure the 60 votes needed to pass them.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer resorted to the “nuclear option” of a filibuster rules change for a “talking filibuster.” That would have been different from the current legislative filibuster practice in which senators are allowed to signal their objections privately.
It was this changes rule which failed miserably, as it was torpedoed by the Democrats’ own, moderates. Manchin and Sinema voted against it, making good on their well-known promises to defend the filibuster rules.
48-52, Senate Dem effort to gut filibuster and pass their elections bill with a simple majority fails after Manchin and Sinema side with all GOP senators and oppose the nuclear option to change the rules along straight party lines. The effort is officially dead for this Congress
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 20, 2022
In his own floor speech, Manchin declared allowing “this change” would turn the US Senate into a “body without rules”.
Manchin emphasized that a potential killing, or even just a carve-out of the filibuster, would “add fuel to the fire” and spike the dysfunction already “tearing the nation apart”.
Biden Got Crushed, Schumer Gets a Gift Basket
Early Thursday morning, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) sent a fruit basket to Chuck Schumer. This was meant to thank him for moving ahead with the Democrats’ “nuclear option” and failing, Fox News reported.
By forcing a vote on a filibuster rules change, Schumer, in essence, compelled the two vulnerable Senate Democrats, Manchin and Sinema, to take a stand against their own party.
Joe Biden issued a statement late on Wednesday night, after the defeat of both his filibuster rules change push by some of his own party’s senators, and of his “voting rights” legislation. This would have destroyed the well-established right of the US states to adopt their own election rules.
Sleepy Joe declared that he is “profoundly devastated” that the Senate “failed to stand up” for the American democracy. Never mind that Wednesday night’s votes in the Senate were fully democratic and bipartisan, even if they delivered the Democrats a crushing blow.
Biden added that he remains “undeterred” and will keep “pushing” for “procedural changes” in the Senate in order to “protect the right to vote.”
This is, once again, speaking as though anybody in the United States of America, least of all in the Republican Party, is presently trying to rob any group of American citizens of the right to vote.
By a vote of 52-48, the #Senate voted that the Chair's ruling stands as the judgement of the Senate in relation to Rule XIX and the legislative filibuster.
Senators Manchin and Sinema joined all Republicans and voted YES,
— Senate Press Gallery (@SenatePress) January 20, 2022
Filibuster remains in tact. Senate rejects one-time change for voting rights
The vote was 52 yeas to 48 nays. But Democrats needed the nays to prevail to alter the filibuster and overrule the chair.
Manchin/Sinema voted yea, with the GOP, to sustain the ruling of the chair.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 20, 2022