Voting Rights Bill
Biden and other Democrats want the Senate’s filibuster rules changed to pass voting rights legislation. Moreover, The White House announced that around 5:30 pm the meeting began and lasted for over an hour but did not mention any details on what transpired. The election reform bill is in the danger of failure in the Senate unless Biden can persuade the senators’ to throw their support behind altering the filibuster in order to overcome GOP opposition.
The closed-door meeting takes place hours after Biden headed towards Capitol Hill to attend a Senate Democratic caucus lunch to discuss the voting rights bills, that have been stuck in the Senate due to Republican opposition.
Manchin and Sinema representatives did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment, but both have long opposed repealing the 60-vote Senate filibuster. However, Biden is trying to change both senators’ minds on altering the legislative, to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
However, Moderate Democrats Manchin and Sinema, also both reiterated their opposition to abolishing or weakening the filibuster earlier Thursday and it’s unclear what Biden might say to persuade their positions. Additionally, Biden himself acknowledged earlier Thursday that he wasn’t sure whether Democrats would pass both proposals but pledged to keep trying.
Both Manchin and Sinema Opposed the Legislation
In a speech on the Senate floor shortly before Biden arrived at the Capitol, Sinema said that she would not support reducing the filibuster because she believes it would intensify tension in the U.S.
During a Senate floor speech, Sinema said that she will not back separate acts that worsen the underlying illness of divisiveness ailing our society,”
Manchin stated after Biden left arguing that those advocating for changing the filibuster “do so without fully understanding the long-term institutional and democratic damage this will do to the Senate and our nation” and that doing so would “pour fuel onto the fire of political whiplash and dysfunction that is tearing this country apart.”