UPDATE - Biden Meets With Two Dems Who Oppose Senate Rule Change To Pass Voting Rights Bill

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UPDATE - Biden Meets With Two Dems Who Oppose Senate Rule Change to Pass Voting Rights Bill

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th January, 2022) US President Joe Biden met with Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema for more than an hour to discuss pending voting rights legislation, the White House said in a statement.

Manchin has said that he opposes changing the Senate filibuster rules to pass two pieces of voting rights legislation - a plan being considered by congressional leadership and the Biden administration - because of the 232-year history of the rule. Sinema similarly said on the Senate floor that she will not back changes to the filibuster rule.

"The President's meeting with Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema started at 5:30 p.m. (EST) and just ended," the White House said after the meeting on Tuesday.

Earlier the White House said the focus of the meeting would be the voting rights bills.

Biden in a moment of brutal honesty earlier in the day signaled that prospects were bleak to get the rule change through.

"The honest-to-God answer is I don't know whether we can get this done," Biden said.

"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. We missed this time. We missed this time."

The US House on Thursday moved the legislation forward in a vote of 220-203 to be considered by the Senate, where Democrats do not hold the significant majority needed to get over the 60-vote threshold needed to get around a filibuster.

During a speech in Georgia earlier this week, Biden endorsed the elimination of the filibuster so the Democrats could use their slim majority to pass the voting rights bills. The chamber is evenly split currently along party lines with Vice President Kamala Harris, as Senate president, wielding the tie-breaking vote if necessary.

The voting rights legislation, known as the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, was designed by Democrats to counter some state bills passed last year in Republican-run states that restrict mail-in voting and give more power to elected officials over counting ballots.