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 Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
The MLK quote tweeted by King 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.”Martin Luther King Jr.
She tagged McConnell, R-Ky., and Sinema, D-Ariz., at the end of the tweet.
Here’s why it’s relevant now:
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.
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 Senator 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 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 that political leaders frequently share King’s more popular quotes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.