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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said Thursday that she will not vote to weaken the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold, bucking her party leaders yet again and dealing a major blow to Democrats’ election reform effort.
The comments, which match Sinema’s long-held stance on the filibuster, are effectively the final nail in the coffin of Democrats’ longshot effort to pass two elections bills over unified Senate GOP opposition.
“There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy,” Sinema, D-Ariz., said. “This week’s harried discussions about Senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year.”
She added: “But what is the legislative filibuster, other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators, representing the broader cross-section of Americans… Demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon, shouting that solution to their colleagues.”
The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday morning combining both of those original pieces of legislation: The John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. But it won’t get 60 votes in the Senate, which is split 50-50 on party lines.
Any changes to the filibuster would need all 50 Senate Democrats on board. With Sinema taking a…