Speaking Thursday on Boston Public Radio, former Suffolk County sheriff Andrea Cabral lambasted Senate Democrats for being unable to flex their slim majority in order to pass legislation like the Voting Rights Act and President Biden’s infrastructure package.
“I don’t understand it,” she said. “This isn’t rocket science, and the reason that Republicans have been so successful [in efforts to obstruct Democrats] is because this is not a secret to them either.”
The issue at hand, she said, is Senate Republicans’ history of badgering Democrats with complaints about partisanship, only to renege when the time comes to vote on substantially scaled-back legislation.
“To me, it’s astonishing that they haven’t caught on,” she said. “How many times has that happened?”
Cabral also criticized Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., for their refusal to amend or gut the filibuster, which is the process allowing minority parties in the Senate to effectively kill bills with fewer than 60 votes of support.
“It stands in the way of anything getting done,” she said. “And this idea that [Democratic leaders] are not really … playing hardball with them because maybe they’ll start voting with the GOP — they’ve done that in the past, and what’s so different about that now?”
President Joe Biden has recently become more outspoken in his frustration with the two moderate Democrats. In a speech Tuesday, he heavily implied that Manchin and Sinema play a major role in Congress’ inability to pass legislation.
“I hear all the folks on TV saying, ‘Why doesn’t Biden get this done?” he began. “Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.”
“The idea that you continue to try to cajole and convince [Sinema and Manchin] versus saying ‘do this or else,’ when the stakes are as high as this … if you were ever going to do it, do it now,” Cabral said.
Andrea Cabral is the former sheriff of Suffolk County and the former Massachusetts secretary of public safety. She is currently CEO of the cannabis company Ascend.