In a desperate effort to pass the “voting rights” legislation she’s spearheaded, Sen. Amy Klobuchar voted to eliminate the filibuster — a vote she wouldn’t have cast a few short years ago.
On Wednesday evening, Senate Democrats attempted to change chamber rules to sidestep the filibuster and pass a combination of two previously separate “voting rights” bills: the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
During the session, Klobuchar remarked that keeping the filibuster meant “silencing the people of America.”
“I think by voting this down, by not allowing us even to debate this, to get to the conclusion of a vote, that is silencing the people of America, all in the name of an archaic Senate rule that isn’t even in the Constitution. That’s just wrong,” she said.
But two Democrats, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, broke party ranks and joined every single Republican in keeping the filibuster. The final vote was 52 to 48.
Although Klobuchar’s vote comes as no surprise, it contrasts with her previous stance on the filibuster when Donald Trump was president and Republicans controlled both the House and Senate.
In April 2017 Klobuchar was one of 30 Senate Democrats, and a few moderate Republicans, to beg Mitch McConnell, the majority leader at the time, to keep the filibuster.
“We are mindful of the unique role the Senate plays in the legislative process, and we are steadfastly committed to ensuring that this great American institution continues to serve as the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the letter reads.
“Therefore, we are asking you to join us in opposing any effort to curtail the existing rights and prerogatives of Senators to engage in full, robust, and extended debate as we consider legislation before this body in the future.”
Last March Klobuchar told leftist outlet Mother Jones that she supported abolishing the filibuster to ram through the “voting rights” legislation she’s championed over the past year.
“We have a raw exercise of political power going on where people are making it harder to vote and you just can’t let that happen in a democracy because of some old rules in the Senate,” she said.
The Minnesotan also justified her position in light of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
“We had an insurrection at the Capitol with rioters who were trying to literally dismantle our democracy. The fundamental issue is do people get to vote or not and are we going to make it easy for them to vote or are we going to put up barriers to make it impossible?” she told Mother Jones.