Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema declared Thursday that she will not vote to suspend the filibuster in order to pass two voting bills championed by her party, all but guaranteeing that President Biden’s top legislative priority will fail.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Sinema reiterated her well-established commitment to preserving filibuster and rejected the argument — made by her party leaders and Biden himself — that the rule represents an unacceptable obstacle to passing the Freedom to Vote Act and For the People Act.
“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 before the chamber Thursday. “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?” the senator asked. “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 said that she is dedicated to making her public service in Congress reflect the diversity of her constituency in Arizona and the nation at large, urging her Democratic colleagues to stop viewing them as ideological monoliths that automatically get on board with every radically progressive proposal.
The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that merged both bills, but it will not advance in the evenly-divided 50-50 Senate given Sinema’s opposition……
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