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Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema doubles down on filibuster support

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) heads back to a bipartisan meeting on infrastructure in the basement of the U.S. Capitol building after the original talks fell through with the White House on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said they are now pursuing a two-path proposal that includes a new set of negotiations with a bipartisan group of senators. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is staying the course she set in her support of the filibuster, writing in an opinion piece that losing the legislative maneuver would damage democracy.

The Arizona Democrat wrote Monday in the Washington Post, “My support for retaining the 60-vote threshold is not based on the importance of any particular policy.

“It is based on what is best for our democracy. The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles.”

The evenly split Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bill that would revamp elections at the federal level. Sinema is in favor of the bill, which Republicans are expected to reject using the filibuster.

“To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?” Sinema wrote.

Sinema said that the best way to achieve durable, lasting results was through bipartisan cooperation.

“It’s no secret that I oppose eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. I held the same view during three terms in the U.S. House, and said the same after I was elected to the Senate in 2018. If anyone expected me to reverse my position because my party now controls the Senate, they should know that my approach to legislating in Congress is the same whether in the minority or majority.”

Fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia also opposes the move against the filibuster.

“Kyrsten Sinema is a very smart woman,” Valley political analyst Emily Ryan of Copper State Consulting told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “She’s making some very solid points.”

Early this month, President Joe Biden seemed to point to Sinema and Manchin as reasons parts of his agenda haven’t been enacted.

In a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, marking the 100th anniversary of a race massacre there, Biden said he “only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House, and a tie in the Senate — with two members of the Senate who voted more with my Republican friends.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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