Among Democrats, opposition to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is continuing to mount. Recently, Sinema and Manchin joined every Senate Republican in voting down a proposed Senate rules change that would have allowed for the passage of voting rights protections in the chamber with a simple majority in favor. Other moves — such as confirming U.S. Supreme Court Justices and making certain adjustments to federal spending — can be undertaken in the Senate with simple majorities, so it’s not as though there’s no precedent for such a thing. And yet, Sinema and Manchin refused to budge on changing the procedural rules for passing voting rights protections, citing concerns like a desire for bipartisanship.
Perspective: Emily’s List is ditching Sen. Sinema because voting rights are also women’s rights https://t.co/TK60FxeQbi
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 25, 2022
How are Democrats supposed to find areas of bipartisan agreement with Republicans who have been launching initiatives to make voting itself more difficult? While Sinema and Manchin push for, among other things, bipartisanship, Republican majorities in various state legislatures are finding no apparent problem with pushing these suppressive changes to the electoral process. New restrictions on various aspects of mail-in voting, new procedural hurdles for casting ballots, and other changes are poised to have the concrete effect of threatening to push people out of the electoral process. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) put Manchin and Sinema on blast over the weekend, commenting as follows in response to a story about increasing rates of mail-in ballot application rejections in the state of Georgia:
‘Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema said this is the price Black and brown people must pay because the filibuster is more important.’
Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema said this is the price Black and brown people must pay because the filibuster is more important. https://t.co/nhhL7EMuB6
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) January 28, 2022
Voting rights proposals that have been pushed by top Democrats also include initiatives to tamp down on gerrymandering, meaning the political manipulation of the legislative district-drawing process by those in charge. A federal judge recently allowed court challenges against new district maps in Georgia to proceed. As previously reported on this site: As explained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia’s new Congressional district map includes nine Republican-leaning districts and five that lean towards the Democrats — although Joe Biden won the state in the last presidential election, meaning that the set-up does not appear to accurately reflect the political composition of the state. Among other issues, the Congressional district map that Georgia Republicans have enacted dramatically reshapes the state’s 6th Congressional district, which is currently represented by Rep. Lucy McBath (D). The new map slashes portions of DeKalb and Fulton counties from McBath’s district, tacking the remnants of the district onto a nearby Republican area.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 29, 2022