Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., stood firm on Thursday against her party’s objective to rid the filibuster from Congress in order to pass the Democrat Party’s proposed voting and election integrity bills.
Taking the Senate floor shortly before Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats to rally support to eliminate the present rules for passing legislation, Sinema stated that she could not support such a “short sighted,” transformation of voting practices.
Changing the filibuster would require the support of all 50 Senate Democrats, but with Sinema bucking party leadership, the attempt is nothing more than a sinking ship.
Sinema made clear that she supports the election bills, but also that she adamantly opposes the prescribed plan to pass legislation. Strengthening her position, “eliminating the 60-vote threshold on a party line with the thinnest of possible majorities to pass these bills that I support will not guarantee that we prevent demagogues from winning office,” declared Sinema.
In accordance with Senate rules, legislation must pass by a simple majority after the conclusion of final debates. However, a minimum of 60 senators must agree to end all discussions before bringing a finalized bill to the floor for a vote.
Currently, the Senate is evenly divided at 50-50. Kamala Harris serves as the tie-breaking vote. Terminating the filibuster would free the Democrat Party from relying on GOP support for bill passage.
This is not the first time Sen. Sinema has taken heat from her Democrat colleagues for acting individually. In December, Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin, W.Va., did not show support for Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) spending bill.
While she remained quiet in her position, Manchin vocalized his opposition. This bill would “dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face,” said Manchin. The West Virginia senator’s countervote is a blockade to the passing of the BBB bill.
Under immense pressure, the two senators appear to be a thorn in the flesh of their own party. Referring to the political division within the country, Sinema added that altering the filibuster would only “worsen” the divide.