Senator Kyrsten Sinema
(D-Ariz.) reiterated her support for the Senate filibuster
on Tuesday, despite mounting pressure to do away with the chamber's long-standing supermajority requirement for passing legislation.
“It is a tool that protects our nation’s democracy
,” Sinema said at an event with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in Tucson, according to The Arizona
Republic. “Rather than allowing our country to ricochet wildly every two to four years back and forth between policies, the idea of the filibuster was created by those who came before to create comity and to encourage bipartisanship
together,” Sinema said.
“Those who say we have to choose between the filibuster and ‘X,’ I say, are making a false choice,” Sinema added.
Sinema is one of several Democrats
in the Senate who have said this year that they oppose changing Senate rules to make it easier to pass legislation. West Virginia
Senator Joe Manchin
is equally adamant about keeping the filibuster, vowing that he will “never” vote to repeal it.
filibustered legislation last week that would have established a bipartisan, independent commission
to investigate the Jan. 6 insurgency at the U.S. Capitol
. Fifty-four senators voted to advance the bill, including six Republicans, but it failed to move forward because 60 votes
More legislation is expected to face a GOP
filibuster when Congress
returns to Washington
from its summer recess next week, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
(D-NY), who has announced that the chamber will take up legislation dealing with expanding gun
background checks, LGBTQ rights
, and voting rights
, all of which are contentious issues between the two parties.
The filibuster will face its toughest test yet at the end of the month, when Democrats attempt to bring the For the People Act
, their major voting and election
ethics overhaul bill, to the floor. Sinema has co-sponsored the legislation, but Manchin opposes it as written, and Democrats may not be able to bring it to the floor for a vote on passage without his support.
“The reality is that when you have a system that isn’t working effectively — and I think most people would agree that the Senate isn’t a particularly well-oiled machine, right? — the way to fix that is to change your behavior, not to eliminate or change the rules,” Sinema argued on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden
expressed frustration on Tuesday with critics who claim he isn't doing enough to get his agenda through Congress. Speaking at an event in Tulsa
, Biden noted that Democrats have extremely tight majorities in both chambers, limiting how much they can do without total unanimity.
In an indirect reference to Manchin and Sinema, Biden stated that there are “two senators who vote more with my Republican friends
” on certain issues.
“June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill,” Biden said at the event, urging Congress to protect voting rights in the face of a nationwide push by Republicans in state legislatures to restrict access to the ballot box.