SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., used a quote from her father about “misguided senators” to call out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. King tweeted a quote by her father that says: “I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting.”
She tagged McConnell, R-Ky., and Sinema, D-Ariz., at the end of the tweet.
Democrats have been trying to push forward voting rights legislation that Senate Republicans have been stalling through a filibuster, a procedure that allows Senators to delay and block bills. Democrats currently need 60 votes to override the filibuster. There are only 48 Democrats in the Senate. Maine Senator Angus King and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are independents who caucus with Democrats to bring their total to 50.
President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, hoped that changing filibuster rules would get the voting bills passed, but the idea doesn’t have support from the entire party. Sinema, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have been particularly vocal against their party’s majority wishes. On Thursday, Sinema made a speech on the Senate floor to announce she still wants to keep the filibuster as it is. Manchin released a written statement reiterating his stance as well.
Republicans have been pleased by their position, with McConnell saying: “It was extraordinarily important and [Sinema] has, as a conspicuous act of political courage, saved the Senate as an institution.”
A key part of the voting rights legislation aims to void restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states by setting national election standards that eclipse state laws. The legislation would also restore the ability of the Justice Department to police election laws in states with a history of discrimination, the Associated Press reports.
Schumer originally wanted to debate the voting rights legislation by Monday, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day but has since delayed the debate to Tuesday. Bernice King asked people to share her father’s anti-filibuster views this holiday, a day when political leaders frequently share King’s more popular quotes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.