On Wednesday, the United States Senate failed to end debate over a controversial bill that would nationalize election procedures all across the country, and in the process ultimately failed to abolish the 60-vote filibuster.
ABC News reports that when the vote finally came up to eliminate the filibuster, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joined all 50 Republicans in voting against the measure. Both senators, who come from states that have long been Republican strongholds, have frequently and openly expressed their opposition to eliminating the filibuster.
Prior to the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that the Democratic Party’s attempt to end the filibuster “would shatter the soul of the Senate for short-term power,” but predicted that “the brave bipartisan majority of this body is about to stop them.”
After the measure was defeated, Joe Biden issued a statement saying that he was profoundly disappointed that the Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy…but I am not deterred. We will continue to advance necessary legislation and push for Senate procedural changes that will protect the fundamental right to vote.”
Earlier on Wednesday, when Democrats attempted to bring up the controversial elections bill for a vote, Republicans filibustered the debate portion of the procedure. In such a case, the filibuster can only be ended when 60 or more senators vote to end debate. The vote to end debate was 49 to 51.
Following the failed attempt to end debate, Vice President Kamala Harris, overseeing the procedure, falsely claimed that “this is about the fundamental freedom to vote and what should be an unfettered access to the ballot.”
“I am here to make a very strong statement that is this: Whatever happens tonight in terms of the outcome of this vote, the president and I are not going to give up on this issue,” she continued. “This is fundamental to our democracy and it is non-negotiable.”
The bill in question would permanently implement many of the unusual voting procedures that were seen in the 2020 election, ostensibly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, which made it significantly easier to vote through unconventional methods that are more susceptible to fraud. Among the measures that the bill would approve are greater numbers of ballot drop-boxes, more widespread leniency for the illegal practice of ballot-harvesting, same-day registration, and extended late periods to turn in ballots even after Election Day.
These and other procedures are widely understood to have played a role in the widespread voter fraud that took place in 2020 across many of the key swing states, which may have been enough to swing the results of the election away from President Donald Trump and in favor of Biden. Since then, 19 states have passed various laws to crack down on voter fraud and secure election integrity, which Democrats have repeatedly and falsely claimed to be acts of “voter suppression.”