Senate Blocks Chuck Schumer’s Gambit to Break Filibuster

The Senate blocked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) late-night gambit to nuke the filibuster and pass two “voter bills.”

The Senate voted on Schumer’s motion to overrule the legislative filibuster; the motion failed 48-52. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), two moderate Democrats oppose to the reform, voted against Schumer’s gambit.

Schumer moved to remove the legislative filibuster to pass two “voter bills,” the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

The Senate blocked the two “voting rights bills” earlier on Wednesday night, as it did not cross the 60-vote cloture threshold.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the day was “in all likelihood is the most important day in the history of the Senate as an institution.”

McConnell and Republicans have argued that removing the filibuster would undermine the Senate and its role as a deliberative body.

McConnell called the filibuster proposal all “smoke and mirrors.”

The leading Senate Republican called for Republicans and Democrats to find compromises rather than breaking the centuries-old rule.

Sinema said in a statement after the vote:

Tonight, I voted again to support legislation safeguarding and expanding Americans’ access to the ballot box and strengthening faith in our elections. I also maintained my longstanding opposition to separate actions that would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty and further eroding confidence in our government. Tonight’s votes must not be the end of our work to protect our democracy. That goal requires all Americans everywhere to unite around sustained strategies in support of free, fair, and open elections in which every vote is fairly counted. These challenges cannot be solved by one party or Washington alone.

 Tonight also should not be the end of our efforts to make the Senate work better. Senators of both parties have offered ideas — including some that would earn my support — to make this body more productive, more deliberative, and more responsive to Americans’ needs.

She added, “I remain committed to working with colleagues in both parties to protect and strengthen American democracy and seek lasting solutions for the Americans we serve.”