Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who is seen as a future primary challenger to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), said it is “past time” for her and her colleagues to pass the “freedom to cheat” voter bills that would cripple Republican attempts across the country to increase election integrity.
In Gallego’s speech on the House floor Thursday, he targeted the senator for her refusal to change the long-established Senate filibuster rule, which requires 60 votes to pass most legislation.
“We won’t shrink from protecting our democracy and the voting rights of all Americans,” Gallego, who has yet to rule out challenging Sinema for the Senate seat in 2024, said. “It’s past time for the U.S. Senate and Senator Sinema to do the same”:
Democracy is under attack, and Congress must respond. pic.twitter.com/0gLtja6srL
— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) January 13, 2022
Gallego’s statement, naming Sinema, came after the House passed the two “freedom to cheat” voter bills Thursday: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Senate Democrats hoped to do the same but do not appear to have the votes. This is why the Senate Democrats are trying to change the long-established Senate filibuster rule that requires 60 votes to pass most legislation.
However, Sinema, who has long opposed change to the filibuster rule, reaffirmed her position in a floor speech Thursday, saying, “I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.”
“It is the view I continue to hold. It is the belief I have shared many times in public settings and in private settings,” Sinema continued. “Eliminating the 60-vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pledged to force a vote this week on the rule changes to help make Congress’s upper chamber the “world’s greatest deliberative body.” But, to change the rule, Democrats would need to have all 50 members of their caucus vote in favor of the rule change, which is not possible without Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Gallego, who is up for reelection this year for his House seat, may also plan to primary Sinema in 2024, when she is up for reelection.
Last November, he told Hill.TV, “I never say no to the future, and the most important thing I always care about is having the majorities we need — the working majorities we need to accomplish good programs to actually help Americans get into the middle class and prosper.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.