Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) just said the (not-so) quiet part out loud: that Democrats' bid to eliminate the filibuster for their blank-check ambitions will be an 'uphill battle' as long as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are opposed to it.
"I don’t want to delude your listeners: This is an uphill fight, because Manchin and Sinema both do not believe in changing the rules," Schumer admitted during a Center for American Progress event on Tuesday evening, Politico reports.
Instead, Schumer has called for a public pressure campaign against Manchin and Sinema to bend the knee.
"Getting as many calls and emails and everything else to both Senators Manchin and Sinema telling them how important this is in this last hour is important," he said.
Our read: Democrats have framed this issue as one where they can't fail — and yet they lack the votes or a clear path to get it done. Schumer's offering a dose of real talk about the odds of success — and perhaps trying to lessen the blow if they do come up short. -Politico
As The Hill notes, Democrats are warning that midterms could be a bloodbath in key states unless they change the filibuster, 'voting rights' (anti-election integrity), and other election reform legislation.
This argument has apparently been made to Macnhin and Sinema, as colleagues attempt to sway the two moderate Democrats to support changing the filibuster.
"There are many colleagues who are making that comment about their own races. ... That’s certainly one of the factors" in trying to convince the two holdouts, according to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). "These are being done only in Republican states where Republicans control all the levers ... so if it’s our voters that they’re targeting, then we ought to have some responsibility to stand up for those voters."
That said, Schumer has vowed to force a vote on the filibuster by Monday, MLK Jr. Day, which election experts say is a key cutoff point in getting federal election legislation passed by the beginning of the 2022 primaries - and allowing enough time to face legal challenges.
To be clear, Manchin in particular has opposed the Democrats' $2 trillion Build Back Better bill, citing out-of-control inflation as a primary reason to take a step back from reckless spending.
“Very very troubling,” Manchin says of todays inflation numbers. He has cited that as a reason why he put the brakes on Build Back Better— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 12, 2022
No way he's about to hand Schumer keys to the Ferrari...