Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has repeatedly said she supports most of a ‘voting rights’ bill her party is trying to get passed that overturns most state voting laws, but not the manner in which the party is attempting to get it through Congress.
Sinema said again on Thursday that she is not in favor of getting rid of the filibuster rule in order to get the “For the People Act” to Joe Biden’s desk.
In restating her opposition to tanking the filibuster, Sinema appeared to be annoyed she had to repeat her earlier statements on the matter.
“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,” she said, Fox News reported.
“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.”
“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,” she added.
“While I continue to support these bills I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” she said.
BREAKING: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema praises proposed voting rights bills but reiterates support for filibuster rule, saying "I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country." https://t.co/ihVuth6xKF pic.twitter.com/GVNP9wBLYe
— ABC News (@ABC) January 13, 2022
Sinema’s response appears to be direct pushback to efforts by top Democrats including President Biden, former President Barack Obama, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to convince the Arizona Democrat and her West Virginia colleague, Sen. Joe Manchin, to change their position on ditching the filibuster.
Sinema has repeatedly said she fears that Republicans, if they were to take control of Congress and the White House, would simply do the same thing in overturning any Democrat legislation they opposed.
To that point, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared on NBC News where she attacked Republicans and some of her fellow Democrat Senators for not doing what she wants them to do with the filibuster.
She suggested that Sinema and Manchin were violating their oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution by opposing the filibuster rule change to pass the misnamed “For the People Act,” a massive voting reform bill Republicans have blasted as an attempt to federalize all elections.
“I will not absolve the 50 Republicans in the United States Senate from responsibility, from upholding one of the most basic tenants of our democracy which is free and fair elections and access to the ballot for all eligible voters,” Harris told the outlet.
She was then asked host Craig Melvin what message she has for Sinema and Manchin, but she gave the same response.
“I don’t think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy especially when they took an oath to protect our Constitution,” Harris said.