Senator Kyrsten Sinema
remained staunchly opposed to the filibuster
on Monday, arguing that Democrats
should not take advantage of their majority status by passing legislation that a future Republican majority could overturn.
Democrat wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post
on Monday, the night before senators are scheduled to vote on whether to debate sweeping voting rights
legislation. No Republicans
are expected to support the For the People Act
, which would require at least 60 votes
to overcome a filibuster.
“It’s no secret that I oppose eliminating the Senate
’s 60-vote threshold. I held the same view during three terms in the United States
House, and said the same after I was elected to the Senate in 2018,” the moderate Democrat wrote. “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 House or the Senate.
Opinion | Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ): Ending the filibuster will cost us more than it will gain https://t.co/G8TzN6PjCQ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 22, 2021
Sinema's central argument in her editorial is that the Senate's gridlock and the need to preserve minority power are preferable to an environment
in which both parties can legislate when they are in the majority and have the results influence future elections
“To those who want to abolish the legislative filibuster in order 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support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to have that legislation rescinded a few years later and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law
or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the Electoral College?
“To those who want to abolish the legislative filibuster in order to expand health-care access or retirement
benefits: Would it be good for our country if we did that only to have that legislation replaced by legislation dividing Medicaid
into block grants, slashing earned Social Security
benefits, or defunding women
’s reproductive health
Though intended to argue that Democrats will regret abolishing the filibuster when it comes time to fight for legislation as the minority party, the op-ed essentially made the case against passing any bill that could be later rescinded by the opposing party, including the For the People Act, a voting rights bill that would, among other things, hold states accountable for ensuring Americ
Sinema's argument amounts to an argument against the exercise
of power in general, because if you use it, what happens if the other side does as well? — b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) June 22, 2021
Despite Sinema's and other moderate Democrats' dreams of bipartisanship
, such as Sen. Joe Manchin
(W.Va.), Republicans are busy blocking every bill introduced by Democrats and, at the state level, passing voter suppression
laws across the country, including in Sinema's Arizona.
The idea of abolishing and reforming the filibuster has grown in popularity among Democrats, who have a majority in the House and a very narrow majority in the Senate as of the 2020 election
. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
(D-N.Y.) has expressed support for getting rid of the filibuster so that Democrats can pass a backlog of legislation without being stymied by Republicans.
“We Democrats wish a voting rights bill would be bipartisan. By all rights, it should be. But the actions in state legislatures were totally partisan. None of these voter suppression laws were passed with bipartisan support. Not one. And Washington Republicans appear dead set against all remedies, whether it’s S.1, a modified version, or the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which Sen. [Mitch] McConnel introduced.
“So the idea of a bipartisan solution to this partisan assault
Stardia's request for comment was not immediately answered by Schumer's office.
On June 4, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, who strongly supported Sinema's election to the Senate, stated that she must help abolish the filibuster or be removed from office. On June 10, three dozen Arizona Democrats pleaded with Sinema to do everything in her power to pass the For the People Act, as Republicans in her own state attempted to audit the 2020 election results that went to President
According to a White House
met separately with Manchin and Sinema on Monday afternoon to discuss a number of issues stalled in Congress, including voting rights and infrastructure
funding. The president “emphasized how important he believes it is that the Senate find a path forward” on voting rights legislation.