When Democrats won the two Georgia runoff elections this January, it created a 50/50 split in the Senate. With Kamala Harris being the “tie-breaker” vote, it gave the left an odd sort of majority.
They really aren’t “in charge,” but they have the votes to get what they want in many circumstances. This made plenty of people worried that Democrats will force their agenda by any means necessary.
You might remember what they were threatening to do prior to the election. They wanted to pack the Supreme Court, add new states to the Union, and eliminate a rule that gave the minority a voice in the upper chamber.
But now it looks like those radical dreams are coming to an end, after two key senators oppose them.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will not back the elimination of the filibuster.
“I do not support doing away with the filibuster under any condition. It’s not who I am,” West Virginia’s Manchin said on Monday…
Sinema of Arizona is also unwilling to support nixing the filibuster. According to the Washington Post, a Sinema spokesperson said that the lawmaker is “against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.” [Source: Just the News]
The filibuster is an odd little rule that prevents a majority party from railroading their agenda. Filibusters are used by lawmakers to prevent a vote on a bill they don’t want to be passed—as long as they can keep speaking for the entire duration of a hearing. To overrule a filibuster, the Senate needs to vote with a 60-person majority.
But if that rule was eliminated, Democrats would be able to pass whatever they wanted, without Republican opposition.
It would have taken every Democrat in the Senate to vote on eliminating this rule. With both Manchin and Sinema against it, the left’s chances of ending the filibuster are gone. Mitch McConnell celebrated this news, calling for a “power-sharing” agreement based on 2001.
“I’m glad that two Senate Democrats confirmed they will not vote to end the legislative filibuster,” McConnell stated. “They agree with President Biden and me on protecting the Senate. With this win, we can move forward with a 50-50 power-sharing agreement built on the 2001 precedent.” [Source: Breitbart]
We can wonder why these two Democrats were unwilling to go along with the rest of the party. Chuck Schumer appeared all too happy to mow down Republicans by ending the filibuster. Numerous other Democrats were promising radical changes, thanks to their slim majority. It’s possible both Manchin and Sinema worried about becoming too left-wing, coming from conservative states.
But will be up for re-election soon—and they can’t count on miracle runoffs to save them, like what happened in Georgia.
Whatever the reason, Democrats are going to have a harder time pushing their left-wing agenda onto Americans.