U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., is once again right in the middle of a heated Congressional debate as Democratic leadership threatens to overthrow the long-established filibuster rule to push through voting legislation that would give the federal government broad powers over state elections.
“If Republicans continue to block our efforts, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: Free and fair elections,” Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
For three months, as the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal was firm in her threat: “We will agree to the bipartisan [infrastructure] bill if, and only if, we also pass the reconciliation bill first.” She was the driving force and the public face behind progressives’ mission to use the infrastructure bill as a cudgel to force Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and other centrist Democrats into passing Build Back Better. She repeatedly appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to give attention to her strongarm tactics.
Time and time again in August, September, and October, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was forced to back down from votes on infrastructure because of Jayapal. When a reporter told Jayapal that some people believed she was “bluffing,” Jayapal, who has nearly 100 members in her caucus, said, “Try us.”
Key Democrat Senators reportedly said they would oppose President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Mark Warner of Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Jon Hickenlooper of Colorado and Mark Kelly of Arizona told the White House they would not support Saule Omarova’s nomination to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, according to Axios.
Protesters and activists followed Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema through Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. and onto a plane Monday, pressing her on why she refuses to back parts of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
“I’m just trying to get an explanation for the American people,” Kunoor Ojha, chief of staff of the Green New Deal Network, asked Sinema as she followed the senator through the airport, video of the encounter shows.
Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema reaffirmed her opposition to abolishing the 60-vote Senate filibuster, rebuffing progressives who have decried the legislative rule and called for its removal.
Sinema argued that scrapping the Senate rule would erode “democracy’s guardrails,” writing in The Washington Post that doing so would lead the nation to “lose much more than we gain.”
“It’s no secret that I oppose eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold,” Sinema wrote. “I held the same view during three terms in the U.S. House, and said the same after I was elected to the Senate in 2018.”