Joe Biden Whiffs Again as Voting Rights Push Fails Miserably

US President Joe Biden speaks to the press after meeting with the Senate Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 13, 2022.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden failed again to advance legislation on his agenda, after traveling to Capitol Hill to lobby Democrats on Thursday.

The president tried to get the Senate to end the filibuster rules, which require a 60-vote majority to advance legislation, in order to pass legislation to federalize elections.

Biden began the week with an angry speech in Georgia denouncing the Senate for failing to advance legislation to federalize elections. The president traveled to Capitol Hill on Thursday to seek Senate Democrat support for ending the filibuster.

His visit was upstaged by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) after she took to the floor of the United States Senate to defend the filibuster rules just minutes before the president arrived.

“Like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try it a second time,” Biden said after the meeting. “We missed this time. We missed this time.”

Biden’s approach was not positioned for success, however, appearing to be little more than political theater that did not impress activists.

Later Thursday evening, the president met with Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin to discuss his agenda, but there was no notable movement in their opposition to his Build Back Better agenda or his attempt to move on federalizing elections.

The White House continues to defend Biden’s progress, despite record low polling numbers and two failed attempts to get major legislation passed.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday pointed to Biden’s success in passing an infrastructure bill and the $1.9 trillion coronavirus emergency spending bill as evidence of progress.

“I guess I’m biased — but pretty impressive given the margin we had in the Senate and the challenges we had up against us,” she said.


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