Sinema Reiterates Ahead of Biden Capitol Visit She Won’t Support Changing Filibuster

Sinema Reiterates Ahead of Biden Capitol Visit She Won’t Support Changing Filibuster

Sinema rejects Biden push on changing the Filibuster

Mona Salama
Mona Salama
January 13, 2022

Just minutes before President Biden arrived at Capitol Hill where he plans to pitch to Senate Democrats on the importance to eradicate the filibuster, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) dealt a heavy blow to her party, making it crystal clear she won't vote to gut the 60-vote threshold to ease the passage of voting rights reform.

"There's no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation," Sinema said on the Senate floor Thursday. "It is the view I continue to hold."

The key moderate Senator said eradicating the filibuster would not guarantee "that we prevent demagogues from being elected" and that getting rid of it would merely be treating the "symptom" of partisanship and not the underlying problem.

Biden is expected to attend a closed-door Senate Democratic caucus lunch to discuss the effort to pass voting legislation, as well as potential changes to Senate rules, according to a Democratic aide who spoke to The Floridian ahead of the president's appearance Thursday.

Sinema has long made it clear that she opposes abolishing the filibuster, arguing her support for the 60-vote threshold is not "based on the importance of any particular policy. It is based on what is best for our democracy.

While she staunchly backs Democrats' election legislation, Sinema told her colleagues from the floor that she will not support "separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country… There's no need for me to restate my long-standing support for the 60 vote threshold to pass legislation."

"When one party need only negotiate with itself, the policy will inextricably be pushed from the middle towards the extremes," Sinema added, noting that she does not support that outcome, and she knows "Arizonans do not either."

The Arizona Senator also referenced a Democratic talking point in their push to pass the federalized voting bill regarding GOP-led states that have passed voting "integrity" laws. But, Sinema argued that without the 60-vote threshold, the United States will see "wild reversals in federal policy" and governance that is "pushed from the middle toward the extremes."

Sinema doubled down on her position of the filibuster comes as Democrats are prepared to spend the weekend voting and debating voting rights and a bid to change the Senate filibuster rules. Earlier, the House voted 220-203, along party lines, to pass the "shell" voting rights consolidated bill. The Senate will receive it as a "message," enabling Democrats to open debate on the package with a simple majority, without Republican filibustering.

Sinema's remarks signaled that their aggressive efforts to persuade her to change Senate rules wouldn't work to change her mind, remaining strong despite the overwhelming harassment she has endured. The moderate Senator referenced that it is key for the nation to begin "confront[ing] and combat the rise of rampant disinformation."

All eyes have been on Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), both moderate Senators that have prevented their party from turning the country into a banana republic with their progressive policies over the past year. The two Senators have come under heavy fire from the progressive wing of the Democratic party after they have stalled their key policy agendas, including tanking any if not all chances of Build Back Better from passing.

Mona Salama

Mona Salama

Mona Salama is a political reporter for The Floridian covering Congress, the White House and Congressional elections.

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