Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema at Davos reassert opposition to gutting filibuster

Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema at Davos reassert opposition to gutting filibuster

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin III reasserted their opposition to eliminating the filibuster before a group of influential elites at the Word Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The 60-vote legislative threshold was brought up during a panel discussion Tuesday that included both lawmakers. 

“We still don’t agree on getting rid of the filibuster, correct,” Mr. Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, asked Ms. Sinema. 

Ms. Sinema, Arizona independent, agreed and even offered Mr. Manchin a high-five as confirmation. 

“Joe and I were not interested in sacrificing that important guardrail,” she said.

The filibuster, a parliamentary tool mandating at least 60 votes for most legislation to advance through the Senate, vexed President Biden throughout his first two years in office when both parties had 50 seats within the 100-member chamber and Democrats needed significant support from the opposition to advance any legislation.

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Such a close divide ensured that several White House priorities, including a partisan rewrite of the nation’s voting laws, failed to move forward after Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema opposed eliminating the filibuster. 

“That massive voting rights bill was not passed through Congress, and then we had a free and fair election all across the country,” said Ms. Sinema. “So one could posit that the push by one political party to eliminate an important guardrail and an institution in our country may have been premature or overreaching in order to get the short-term victories they wanted.”

Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema, who was elected as a Democrat before leaving the party earlier this year, are both up for reelection in 2024.

Despite now holding 51 seats, Democrats still face an uphill battle to gut the filibuster as long as Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema remain opposed.

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