Attorney General Grant Woods, who publicly supported Kyrsten Sinema
's Senate election
, is now saying she doesn't belong in office unless she helps end the filibuster
Woods, a former Republican, served as attorney general from 1991 to 1999 and worked for the late Senator John McCain
(R). He switched parties in 2018 and became a Democrat.
That same year, he endorsed Sinema, and the campaign even featured him in one of its advertisements, saying, "We need more people who aren't just politicians
who will say or do anything to get elected."
However, in comments to Stardia on Friday, Woods was much less enthusiastic about Sinema. He said he is very passionate about passage of H.R. 1, Democrats
’ For the People Act
, a democracy
reform and voting rights
bill, and believes the Senate must abolish the filibuster, which Sinema has said she is adamantly opposed to. (Sinema is, however, a co-sponsor of the For the People Act.)
“I believe that Senator Sinema and every senator should support ending the filibuster for the voting rights bill,” he said, adding, “To maintain the Jim Crow filibuster while losing some of these basic voting rights that are central to our democracy is preposterous.”
“Sen. Sinema should know that, and so should Sen. Manchin,” Woods said, referring to West Virginia
Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin
, who also opposes repealing the filibuster. “At the end of the day, I’m very hopeful that they’ll come around and do the right thing, but if they don’t, I don’t think they belong in the Senate anymore.”
On Thursday, Woods tweeted his thoughts on the filibuster without mentioning Sinema by name.
At the end of the day, if you do not vote to protect voting rights and save our democracy by breaking the Jim Crow filibuster, it should be your final vote as a United States
Senator. No exceptions. #CountryFirst #FILIBUSTER #EndTheFilibuster — Grant Woods (@GrantWoods) June 3, 2021
A request for comment from Sinema's office was not promptly returned.
Until now, Woods has been a staunch supporter of Sinema, standing by her when she was widely chastised by Democrats for voting against a $15/hour minimum wage with an exaggerated thumbs down.
However, Sinema reiterated this week her refusal to abolish the filibuster, which continues to be a major impediment to President Joe Biden
“It is a tool that protects our nation’s democracy,” Sinema said Tuesday in Tucson at an event with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “Rather than allowing our country to ricochet wildly every two to four years back and forth between policies, the filibuster was created by those who came before to create comity and to encourage bipartisanship
and work together.”
However, as New York
Times columnist Michelle Goldberg pointed out on Friday, Sinema's background is misleading.
“The filibuster was created by mistake when the Senate, while cleaning up its rule book
in 1806, failed to include a provision to cut off debate. (A so-called cloture rule allowing two-thirds of senators to end a filibuster was adopted in 1917; the proportion was reduced to three-fifths in 1975.)
filibustered their first piece of legislation in the Biden administration
last week, preventing the formation of a bipartisan independent commission
to investigate the Capitol riot
on January 6