Washington DC: Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital to protecting democracy collapsed when two senators refused to join their own party in changing Senate rules to overcome a Republican filibuster after a raw, emotional debate. The outcome Wednesday night was a stinging defeat for President Joe Biden and his party, coming at the tumultuous close to his first year in office.
“I am profoundly disappointed,” Biden said in a statement after the vote. However, the president said he is “not deterred” and vowed to “explore every measure and use every tool at our disposal to stand up for democracy.”
Democrats could not persuade holdout senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to change the Senate procedures on the bill and allow a simple majority to advance it. Both Manchin and Sinema say they support the legislation, but Democrats fell far short of the 60 votes needed to push the bill over the Republican filibuster. The rules change was rejected 52-48, with Manchin and Sinema joining the Republicans in opposition.