The family of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been turning up the heat on Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) as the senators clutch onto the filibuster, which dooms any chance of passing Democrats’ voting rights legislation.
During a press conference after the “D.C. Peace Walk” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Yolanda Renee King, the 13-year-old granddaughter of the civil rights icon, urged the two senators to “do the right thing” when the legislation comes to a vote as planned this week. Though Sinema and Manchin support the bills, they refuse to back any changes to the filibuster that would allow the bills to pass.
“Senator Sinema, Senator Manchin, our future hinges on your decision, and history will remember what choice you make,” Yolanda Renee King said as her father, Dr. King’s eldest son, stood next to her.
The son, Martin Luther King III, had slammed Sinema on her home turf during a voting rights rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday.
“History will remember Sen. Sinema, I believe unkindly, for her position on the filibuster,” he said.
Sinema paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. Day via Twitter on Monday, writing “Today we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLKDay”
Part of King’s legacy includes his criticism of the filibuster, especially because the procedure was being used as a cudgel against voting rights.
“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,” King said during an interview in 1963.