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Tipsheet

Sinema Kills Biden's Election Power-Grab Scheme Just as He Arrives on Capitol Hill to Push It

Despite all of President Biden's blustering fire-and-brimstone doomsday talk about evil Republicans — who are simply operating within the Senate's established rules — it was a Democrat Senator who on Thursday delivered a mortal blow to the White House's latest attempt to secure a legislative victory on so-called "voting rights."

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Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema took to the Senate floor on Thursday afternoon to once again explain why the 60-vote threshold to stop a legislative filibuster is both necessary and not worth upending for a temporary wish. 

Demonstrating more foresight than the late Harry Reid or current Senate Majority Chuck Schumer demonstrated, Sinema declared that "eliminating the 60-vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy from threats in the years to come." Ending the legislative filibuster in order to force through Democrats' radical federal takeover of elections is something Sinema said would "worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country." 

"The debate over the Senate's 60-vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges," Sinema continued in her floor speech. "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 protecting our country from wild reversals in federal policy."

As Vespa covered earlier in January, Sinema's opposition to getting rid of the legislative filibuster as a tool to ensure broad support for new federal policies has been made clear. And despite Senator Sinema's detractors who allege she's being bought off or somewhat manipulated into opposing an overhaul of the process for passing legislative through the Senate, she made clear on Thursday that her support for the legislative filibuster is longstanding, even while she was in the House.

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"It is a view I've held during my years serving in both the U.S. House and the Senate, and it is the view that I continue to hold," Sinema explained. "It is the belief that I have shared many times in public settings, and in private settings. Senators of both parties have offered ideas — including some that would earn my support — to make this body more productive, more deliberative, more responsive to Americans' needs, and a place of genuine debate about our country's pressing issues," Sinema said reiterating her point that she's not opposed to certain changes in how the Senate operates. But when it comes to the legislative filibuster, it's a non-starter for Sinema. 

"A discussion of rules falls short of what is required," she explained of the current attempt by Schumer to shatter Senate norms. "American politics are cyclical, and the granting of power in Washington, D.C. is exchanged regularly by voters from one party to another. The shift of power back and forth means the Senate's 60-vote threshold has proved maddening to members of both political parties in recent years," she reminded.

"Used either as a weapon of obstruction or as a safety net to save the country from radical policies, depending on whether you serve in the majority or the minority," Sinema said. "What is the legislative filibuster other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators representing a broader cross section of Americans — a guardrail."

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With her floor speech, Senator Sinema effectively ended Schumer's hopes of changing the rules to allow President Biden's latest legislative priority to pass. It also proved that Biden's speech on his election overhaul priority was a total fail. 

It turns out that Biden's hollering about anyone who opposes passing the federal election takeover being equal to the president of the confederacy does not in fact change minds. In making her consistent stance clear on the Senate floor, Sinema has likely handed the White House and congressional Democrat leadership another defeat as the new year begins.

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