Progressive “Squad” Member Omar Says Manchin and Sinema Are “Killing Our Democracy” By Defending Senate Filibuster

“Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has often pressed the progressive narrative that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are “killing” American democracy by standing in the way of Democrat efforts to end the filibuster rule in the Senate.

Omar’s latest attack on Manchin and Sinema came Wednesday after the Democrat-sponsored Freedom to Vote Act was blocked in the Senate by a Republican filibuster. Under current Senate rules, breaking a filibuster on ordinary legislation requires 60 votes. Any Democrat-backed bill must attract at least 10 Republicans who agree to advance the bill past a filibuster in the evenly divided Senate.

He tweeted Wednesday that the Democratic Senators who uphold the filibuster, meaning Manchin and Sinema, are “killing our democracy.”

Omar introduced legislation in the House on Thursday that would create a federal agency to search for and monitor “Islamophobic” citizens inside the U.S. and communications deemed to be “anti-Muslim bigotry.” Her office stated that such an agency would help Congress understand the “interconnected, global problem” of statements made against Islam.

Democrats were only able to collect 49 votes on Wednesday toward ending the filibuster on the Freedom to Vote Act. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then called for bipartisanship to repair the “damage of Trump’s big lie” that he said is “spreading like cancer among Republicans.” 

The voting-reform bill has been blocked three times now by Republicans in the Senate. The bill was presented again after receiving publicity due to the walkout this summer by a group of Democratic state lawmakers in Texas protesting an election reform bill that tightened ballot security there. As usual, Democrats in Texas and Washington were quick to criticize any move to ensure election integrity as disenfranchising and racist.

Joe Biden joined in the criticism of the Republican filibuster of the bill, saying that Republicans are subverting the right to vote. Biden has said that democracy is facing “unrelenting assault by proponents of the Big Lie,” including Republican governors and legislatures around the country.