Democrat Senators Manchin, Sinema join all Senate Republicans, including Mississippi Senators Wicker, Hyde-Smith, in stopping federal elections takeover.
Late Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate voted 52-48 to keep the filibuster rule in place in the chamber, essentially blocking Democrats from passing their so called “voting rights” bill that would have significantly undermined state run elections, Voter ID, and other safeguards aimed at ensuring election integrity.
Two Senate Democrats joined all Senate Republicans in voting for the filibuster rule. They were Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Krysten Sinema (AZ).
Mississippi Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith has been adamantly opposed to both the Democrats’ elections bill and their attempts to bypass the Senate rules.
“Today President Biden and national Democrats attempted to take over our federal election system with a razor-thin Senate majority,” Wicker said in a statement following the vote. “Along the way, they have attacked sensible state election integrity laws and spread reckless falsehoods that needlessly raised the temperature of our politics.”
Senator Wicker said the President and his party sought to toss aside two centuries of sound precedent and eliminate the consensus building 60-vote requirement for this legislation. He says that threshold has stood the test of time and separates America from the rest of the world as a beacon of reason and unity.
“I am glad that all Senate Republicans, along with two courageous members of the President’s own party, have stopped this assault on the Senate and our election system,” Wicker continued, adding, “Americans can be grateful that cooler heads prevailed, allowing the Senate to remain a guardrail against election takeovers, socialism, and extreme ideas of all kinds.”
Senator Hyde-Smith said Democrats’ sought to impose rules to silence half the Senate, and thus half the nation they represent.
“The people of Mississippi and this great nation have every right to be frustrated with Washington, D.C. Today, they face pandemic worries, inflationary prices on everything, a border under siege, rising crime rates, and ominous international threats—issues that should be at the forefront of the Senate agenda,” Hyde-Smith said. “Instead, the U.S. Senate is spending more time fighting fake hysteria fanned by Democrats to justify a federal takeover of our elections. This bill, just like the last four versions, amounts to a cynical power grab and not a true effort to strengthen electoral integrity.”
Hyde-Smith said in a statement that the failures and floundering that have characterized the first year of the Biden administration is the result of the hyper-partisan “my way or the highway” approach embraced by the President and his allies. She said true voting rights and election reform legislation should have strong bipartisan support to be fully embraced by the American people.
As for the vote to sustain the filibuster, Senator Hyde-Smith believes it protected the Senate’s role in American governance.
“Protecting the traditional rights of the minority party in the Senate is equivalent to saving the institution and its role in our democratic government,” Hyde-Smith said. “Without the filibuster, Democrats could pass any notion from their endless radical agenda without true debate or compromise, effectively silencing the millions of Americans who live in Republican states.”
The White House released a statement on behalf of President Biden following the Senate vote, saying he was “profoundly disappointed that the United States Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy.” Biden said his administration will continue to work with their Democratic members to advance necessary legislation “to protect the right to vote.” He also said he would continue to “push for Senate procedural changes that will protect the fundamental right to vote.”
Biden’s statement concluded by saying, “The Vice President will continue to lead this effort, as she has for the past year.”
Given the tasks President Biden has entrusted to Vice President Harris over the last year, including securing the Southern border and shepherding through the administration’s legislative agenda, critics could question Harris’ ability to carry out her assignments, and perhaps see that closing remark by Biden as a way to deflect blame for the failed vote in the Senate.