WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFLA) — As senators debated changes to voting rules on Wednesday, President Joe Biden addressed the nation, still hoping to garner support for a voting rights bill that’s stuck in the U.S. Senate.

“One thing I haven’t been able to do so far is to get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country,” Biden said from the White House.

But it’s opposition from conservative Democrats within his own party that are stopping Biden’s effort to expand voting rights.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) said last week she supported the legislation, but did not support changing the filibuster.

“While I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division affecting our country,” Sinema said.

Last week, the House passed a combined bill made up of parts of the “Freedom to Vote” Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act.

But in order to pass the Senate, the measure must have at least 60 votes of support, or debate can be halted by the filibuster, an arcane Senate rule that, in recent decades, has mostly become a tool of obstruction for whichever party is in the minority.

This graph from the Brookings Institution tracks the number of cloture motions during the 20th and 21st centuries.

“That’s why the filibuster is so important,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida). “It weakens the sometimes attractive nature of tribalism and bolsters the importance of and need for consensus when crafting policy. The filibuster protects our democratic process. That’s why the founders designed the Senate to operate this way.”

But the founders did not make the filibuster part of America’s initial government. It is not mentioned in the Constitution, and that was no accident — the founders warned how too much minority power could pervert democracy.

Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 22 that giving states equal weight “contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.”

“It may happen that this majority of States is a small minority of the people of America,” wrote Hamilton.

Hamilton’s fears have come true — half of the Senate represents only 16% of the U.S. population.

Since the 2020 election, 34 states (including Florida) have passed bills restricting voting, many of them controlled by Republican legislatures, prompting Democrats to push forward with voting rights legislation.

However, it is still easier to vote in some of those states than it is in other states controlled by Democrats, which has drawn cries of hypocrisy from Republicans.