WASHINGTON, DC – It looks like Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema has dashed the hopes of her fellow Democrats with respect to pushing through election reforms, as Senator Sinema reaffirmed her stance that she has no intention of meddling with the filibuster.
Senator Sinema delivered the comments on January 13th, which supported her “longstanding” position on not abolishing the filibuster, which requires 60 votes within the Senate to push through legislation.
“There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy. This week’s harried discussions about Senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year.”
The Arizonan Democrat senator rebuked the concept of discarding the filibuster, citing the irreparable harm doing so would cause.
“But what is the legislative filibuster, other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators, representing the broader cross-section of Americans…Demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon, shouting that solution to their colleagues.”
This push by Democrats to abolish the filibuster comes at a time where the House had combined two pieces of election reform legislation, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. As it stands, support of these election reforms is split along party lines – with Democrats all for them and Republicans being against them.
Thus, with the Senate having a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans, the election reforms won’t be able to surpass the 60 votes needed as mandated by the filibuster to see the legislation come to fruition.
This is why Democrats have been eyeing down the filibuster, which on that front they’d need all 50 Democrats in the Senate to modify the filibuster and thus can sideline their way to pushing through these reforms (and other legislation they may fancy down the road).
But Senator Sinema basically put those filibuster modifying hopes to rest, saying that while she supports the election reforms presented to the Senate, she cannot have them come into existence by tampering with the filibuster.
“These bills help treat the symptoms of the disease, but they do not fully address the disease itself. And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division affecting our country.”
Without naming specific examples, Senator Sinema said that “Some have given up on the goal of erasing our divisions and uniting Americans. I have not,” adding that she has “worked hard to demonstrate in my public service, the value of working with unlikely allies to get results.”
Senator Sinema has managed to attract quite the scathing levels of criticism from her party and her constituents due to her stances, much like Democrat Senator Joe Manchin did back in December when he essentially killed Biden’s Build Back Better, which we at Red Voice Media previously reported on.
Joe didn’t take it very well.