Sinema, Manchin Double Down On Filibuster Support

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., depart after a Democratic policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

President Biden met privately with Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema Thursday night after the two enforced their support for the legislative filibuster.

Sinema said Thursday that she will not vote to weaken the filibuster. “There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation,” she said.

“There’s no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy,” Sinema added.

On Thursday morning, the House of Representatives passed a bill combining the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, which won’t get 60 votes in the Senate.

“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 said.

Manchin also issued a statement reiterating his opposition to changing the filibuster. “As such, and as I have said many times before, I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” he said.

According to a White House official, Biden, Sinema, and Manchin had “a candid and respectful exchange of views about voting rights” during their meeting.

Biden also met with Democratic senators in a separate closed-door meeting Thursday.

“I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure,” Biden said. “But one thing for certain [is that] like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time,” he added.