INDIANAPOLIS – The Biden administration was dealt a major blow in its push for voting rights legislation after two key Democratic Senators, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, announced they will not support bills that require removing the federal filibuster.
If the filibuster was removed, what lawmakers call the “nuclear option,” the president’s voting rights legislation could pass by a simple majority. But, Senators Manchin and Senima have repeatedly said they are against passing such wide-ranging bills without input from Republicans. The razor-thin margin Democrats hold in the Senate has constantly been a problem for President Biden and his campaign promises.
Both of Indiana’s Senators are speaking out on the proposal and what it means for Hoosiers.
On the Senate floor, Sen. Todd Young explained the importance of the filibuster for the opposition party, and how it can actually be used to come to agreements.
“Frustrating as it may be, the filibuster, in its way, is a source of… order and even unity in Congress,” said Young.
Those sentiments were echoed by Sen. Mike Braun, saying that he predicted that Democrats would focus on voting rights after they failed to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan.
“I don’t see that’s any different from what collapsed their spending agenda, so that’s a risky thing politically,” Sen. Braun said. “[Voting rights legislation] would be the issue that they would risk breaching the filibuster on.”
Speaking to IN Focus, Sen. Braun also addressed the rumors he is planning to run for governor.
“I am going to serve Hoosiers as a U.S. Senator,” Sen. Braun said. “I’ll have to make my mind up on what I’m going to do politically here probably within a year or so.”
Another potential Republican candidate, Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, recently announced he will not seek reelection. This leaves an opening in Indiana’s 9th congressional district, encompassing parts of southern part of the state.
Watch more reaction on the filibuster rule and voting rights legislation in the video above.