Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema high-fived each other during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over their action sustaining the filibuster rule in the United States Senate last year.
As both senators expect to face voters when they run for reelection in 2024, they reaffirmed their support for the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the upper chamber, which has been used to bottle up important legislation to extend voting rights, measures to protect the right to choose an abortion, and consideration of Supreme Court justices.
“We still don’t agree on getting rid of the filibuster, correct?” Manchin asked Sinema. “That’s correct,” she replied before she shared a high-five with the conservative West Virginia coal baron.
Sinema, who abandoned the Democratic Party to become an independent, used the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting to take a victory lap.
“While some would say that there were reluctant folks working in Congress in the last two years,” she said, gesturing at herself and Manchin, “I would actually say that was the basis for the productivity for some incredible achievements that made a difference for the American people in the last two years.”
Manchin’s position on issues frequently puts him at odds with President Joe Biden and the majority of Democrats.
He is seeking a deal with Republicans to avert a catastrophic US debt default and supports Senator Mitt Romney’s plan for setting up bipartisan commissions to recommend cuts in Social Security and Medicare.
The annual report released by the Social Security and Medicare Trustees projected that Medicare will become insolvent by 2026 and Social Security will no longer be able to pay full benefits starting in 2035.
“When the Social Security and Medicare trust funds run dry, senior citizens could face dramatic cuts to their benefits, American workers could face a steep tax increase, or Congress could add trillions to our enormous federal debt, but Washington has failed to address the looming insolvency of these federal trust funds —an issue that should be at the top of the legislative agenda,” said Lisa McCormick.