Manu Raju, the CNN Congressional reporter, did not mince her words. She declared that there was no path for the Democratic Party in their attempt to change federal election law. Raju made this comment after Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced her position against changing Senate rules on the filibuster.
“It’s not going very well for the White House. In fact, they are bound to fail. There’s virtually no path for this happening. Kyrsten Sinema shut the door to any changes to the Senate filibuster rules even before Joe Biden came here,” Raju said from Capitol Hill.
The CNN reporter went on the explain that in order to pass a bill through the regular process in overcoming a filibuster in the Senate, it would require 60 votes; that means 50 Democrats and 10 Republicans.
The GOP is strongly opposed to both bills: The Freedom to Vote Act and also the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. The only way for these now to get approved is to change the rules so that they can be approved with just 51 votes (50 from the Senate and one tie-breaking vote from Vice President Harris).
To make this change, they will need all 50 Democrats in the Senate, but Sinema made it clear that she will not support lowering the 60-vote mark. The senator worries about the drastic implication that changing the rules would have for the country in the long term.
The Arizona senator gave her announcement while speaking from the floor of the Senate. She said that she supported both voting rights bills, but she did not believe that changing the rules in order to force them through was right. She said it might create more problems than it would fix.
Raju also noted that Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, has also not been in favor of changing the rules along party lines as well.
“Meaning that there is no path for Joe Biden to move this, despite him investing political capital, despite him going to Georgia earlier this week and despite him coming up here to the Senate Democratic lunch in which he told Democrats — I’m told from a Democratic Senator — that if there are no voting rights bill that there are no rights at all,” Raju said.
He wrapped up his report by indicating that it seemed as if President Joe Biden had resigned himself to the fact that the election overhaul was not going to move forward at this time. He told reporters that although he hoped that the bills would pass, he was not certain he would be able to get it done.
Biden showed up with the reporters after making an appearance at the Senate Democrat’s lunch. He expected to call for a Senate rule change, but Senator Sinema had just announced her position that she would join with Senator Manchin in refusing to support the filibuster.
Biden shouted out at the reporters and changed the conversation so that he could go after state legislatures for laws that he said were changing who had the right to count the votes. He said that his emphasis on federal overhaul was just as much about “election subversion” and protecting those who had the right to count votes in any election.
Biden went toward the reporters, took off his face mask, and told them that they ask complicated questions about whether he can get it done. But he said that the honest-to-God answer is that he did not know, he hoped so, but he wasn’t certain.