Warren dodges on whether Sinema, Manchin should be challenged in primaries

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday dodged a question on whether Democrats should pose primary challenges in 2024 to either Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the two Senate Democrat holdouts on getting rid of the filibuster.

Nate Burleson, one of the hosts for “CBS Mornings,” asked Warren if the two senators should be challenged in the Democratic primaries in 2024.

“We’ll address that when we get past this week,” the progressive Democrat replied.

Warren, in her full-throated appeal to pass Democrats’ voting rights legislation and overhaul elections, said she was not declaring the party’s bill dead “because we can’t,” despite the fact that the 60-vote Senate legislative rule barring them from passing such legislation is being held up by her two colleagues.

“Understand it this way: Voting is foundational, that is the whole premise of our democracy. And before we get to the procedural part, keep this in mind — that state legislatures all around the country that are controlled by Republicans are doing everything they can to keep people from voting,” Warren said on the CBS morning show.

“Who are they trying to keep from voting? Black people, brown people, college students, people who live on tribal reservations, trying to keep those folks from voting because they might vote Democratic,” she continued.

The Massachusetts senator claimed that all 50 Senate Democrats wanted the same things when it came to voting right legislation but were “hung on” the procedural challenge.

Warren’s comments come as the Senate on Tuesday is expected to take up a hybrid voting rights legislation bill made up of components of both a federal elections reform bill, the Freedom to Vote Act, and another proposal that would expand the Voting Rights Act, named after late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)

The House passed the legislation last week along party lines. 

Speaking on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Vice President Harris called on the Senate to “do its job” by passing the voting rights legislation.

“To truly honor the legacy of the man we celebrate today, we must continue to fight for the freedom to vote, for freedom for all,” Harris said in prepared remarks given from the White House.

The Hill has reached out to the offices of Manchin and Sinema for comment.