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Former Sanders Campaign Co-Chair Labels Sinema, Manchin 'Soulless Cowards' Over Stance on Filibuster

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Nina Turner, a former campaign co-chair for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is blasting Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) over the opposition to changing the filibuster.

During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” Friday, Turner ripped into the two senators as she said, “These people are cowards. They are soulless cowards to hold up a doggone rule. [The] filibuster is a rule. It’s not written in the Constitution. It’s not a right. It is a rule. And they are standing in the way of it.”

Turner went on:

“This is nonsense they’re worried about the Republicans [are] gonna do. Let’s take care of 2022. Let’s do what Democrats can do right now, they have the power. And my message to President Biden: he wasted a whole bunch of time with these folks being diplomatic, inviting them out to the White House.”

She added, “He needs to hold a press conference and let them know, ‘Either you’re going to be by my side saying you’re going to be with me and you’re getting rid of the filibuster, or I’m gassing up the jet on your behind and I will be in Arizona and West Virginia directly and let the American people know who’s standing in the way of my entire agenda.”

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However, former Manchin senior adviser Jonathan Knott argued, “That’s not how Congress works… Gassing up the jet and heading to West Virginia and Arizona is not actually going to get it done. There are ways people can get things done in D.C. Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema proved that with the historic infrastructure bill that they just passed. That’s how you get things done.”

“Slogans and, you know, just yelling isn’t the way it works. So if you want to actually get something done, sit down with them and keep talking,” he added.

Do you think they are "soulless cowards"?

The filibuster is a procedural hurdle that requires 60 votes for most bills to pass the Senate. In a 50-50 Senate, that means at least 10 Republicans would need to join Democrats for legislation to pass the chamber.

Changing the filibuster would require all 50 Democrats to vote for the move and would let them advance legislation with just 51 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

During a speech on Tuesday, President Joe Biden urged Democrats to change the filibuster rules if Republicans use the filibuster to block voting rights legislation.

However, on Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said that while she supports voting rights legislation, she made clear she plans to stand firm in her opposition to making changes to the 60 vote threshold in the Senate, as IJR reported.

Manchin also said he would not “vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster.”

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Without both of their votes, Democrats would not have enough support to change the filibuster rules.

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