From today’s CNN Online:
Senate Democrats suffered a major defeat Wednesday evening in their efforts to pass voting rights legislation — a key issue for the party, which is under pressure to take action ahead of the midterm elections just months away.
An attempt by Democrats to change filibuster rules in order to pass a voting bill failed amid opposition from moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The vote was 52-48, with the two moderates joining all GOP senators. After the vote failed, there was a loud round of applause from Republicans.
Sinema released a statement Wednesday evening explaining why she opposed the change. The Arizona Democrat said that she maintained her longstanding opposition to “actions that would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty and further eroding confidence in our government.
The proposed rules change — to allow for a “talking filibuster” on the legislation — would have forced lawmakers who want to filibuster the bill to come to the Senate floor and speak in opposition. Once those speeches come to an end, the Senate would be able to hold a simple majority vote for final passage. The move would effectively eliminate the 60-vote threshold set by the filibuster.
The effort by Senate Democrats to change filibuster rules came after Republicans once again blocked a voting rights bill put forward by Democrats in the latest partisan showdown over the issue.
Earlier Wednesday evening, the Senate failed to break a GOP filibuster on voting legislation that combines key provisions of two bills: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Read the complete story here.