Sen. Mark Kelly issued a statement Wednesday backing changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules to pass Democrats’ voting rights legislation.
Kelly’s fellow Arizona Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, delivered a floor speech last week against such a maneuver, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin also issued a statement in opposition. Without Manchin and Sinema, Kelly’s support won’t change the outcome.
However, his statement is notable because he was reportedly hesitant to back the rule change to allow Democrats to pass the bills, which would provide federal oversight of changes to state election laws and redistricting and would roll back some measures passed by Republican state legislatures that Democrats say reduce access to the polls.
Kelly is a linchpin in Senate Democrats’ plans to keep and expand the Senate majority they won in early 2021 through a pair of runoff elections in Georgia. In 2020, Kelly won the final two years of the late Republican Sen. John McCain’s term, who was elected in 2016. Kelly is a top Republican target in 2022.
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