Sinema Rejects Changing Filibuster, Dealing Biden a Setback. Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s comments came after the House approved a set of voting rights measures on a party-line vote of 220 to 203.

Sinema Rejects Changing Filibuster, Dealing Biden a Setback. Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s comments came after the House approved a set of voting rights measures on a party-line vote of 220 to 203.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona said she would not support undermining the Senate filibuster to enact new voting rights laws, presenting a major obstacle for President Biden’s drive to push the protections through Congress.CreditCredit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s campaign to push new voting rights protections through Congress appeared all but dead on Thursday, after it became clear that he had failed to unite his own party behind his drive to overhaul Senate rules to enact the legislation over Republican opposition.

In an embarrassing setback for Mr. Biden, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, stunned her colleagues just hours before the president was slated to make his case to them in person at the Capitol by taking the Senate floor to declare that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances.

The announcement by Ms. Sinema, who had long opposed changing Senate rules, left Mr. Biden and Democrats without an avenue for winning enactment of the voting rights measures, which they have characterized as vital to preserve democracy in the face of a Republican-led drive in states around the country to limit access to the ballot box.

It came two days after the president had put his reputation on the line to make the case for enacting the legislation by any means necessary — including scrapping the famed filibuster — with a major speech in Atlanta that compared opponents of the voting rights measures to racist figures of the Civil War era and segregationists who thwarted civil rights initiatives in the 1960s.

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s campaign to push new voting rights protections through Congress appeared all but dead on Thursday, after it became clear that he had failed to unite his own party behind his drive to overhaul Senate rules to enact the legislation over Republican opposition.

In an embarrassing setback for Mr. Biden, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, stunned her colleagues just hours before the president was slated to make his case to them in person at the Capitol by taking the Senate floor to declare that she would not support undermining the filibuster to pass legislation under any circumstances.

The announcement by Ms. Sinema, who had long opposed changing Senate rules, left Mr. Biden and Democrats without an avenue for winning enactment of the voting rights measures, which they have characterized as vital to preserve democracy in the face of a Republican-led drive in states around the country to limit access to the ballot box.

It came two days after the president had put his reputation on the line to make the case for enacting the legislation by any means necessary — including scrapping the famed filibuster — with a major speech in Atlanta that compared opponents of the voting rights measures to racist figures of the Civil War era and segregationists who thwarted civil rights initiatives in the 1960s.