When the history of this extremely partisan period in American history is written, Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona deserve their place in it for helping preserve the republic.
The bill would have federalized how elections are conducted, bringing in the worst practices of the 2020 general election.
The filibuster is a means often used to prolong debate on a bill or prevent a vote on a bill altogether. Debate in the Senate is ended through a cloture vote. A successful cloture vote requires 60 senators, and the current party breakdown of the chamber is 50-50.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats are calling for an end to the filibuster once again following a draft opinion of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization being leaked Monday.
Based on the draft, the high court plans to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.
Schumer wants to codify Roe into federal law, but he would need to end the filibuster to do it, thanks to Republicans opposition.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announces the Senate will hold a vote to codify Roe v. Wade into law:
“We will vote to protect a woman’s right to choose, and every American is going to see which side every senator stands on.” pic.twitter.com/gqjmzqmfJn
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2022
Manchin told reporters he will not vote to end the filibuster.
“The filibuster is a protection of democracy,” he said, according to Axios.
Besides his opposition to ending the filibuster, Manchin voted against legislation to codify Roe earlier this year.
Sinema wants Roe to remain the law of the land, but is not willing to end the filibuster to do it.
“A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family and her doctor. Overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and well-being of women in Arizona and across America,” she said.
But she noted that the filibuster has been used to protect women’s “health care choices” multiple times.
“Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past 10 years, and are more important now than ever,” she said.
Statement on Draft Supreme Court Opinion pic.twitter.com/3GYIF3YnM7
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) May 3, 2022
The senator further explained her opposition to ending the filibuster on ABC’s “The View” last summer, saying no one likes it when their party is in the majority.
“People seem to not like the filibuster when they’re the ones who want to pass the legislation,” she said. “But when we’re in the minority — we being either Democrats or Republicans — we use the filibuster a lot to force dialogue, to bring people together and to make changes.”
“So thinking about this from the long term rather than the just right-now term, I think it’s really important,” she added.
In other words, Sinema is looking down the road and seeing a time when Republicans will be back in the majority, perhaps as early as this November.
Further, if the GOP also regains the White House in 2024, the filibuster would potentially be the only tool Democrats have to block or to change legislation they don’t like.
Now, they are saving the Senate from ending the filibuster, again, and they must be commended for that.