PHOENIX — Members of the Arizona Democratic Party’s executive committee on Saturday passed a resolution to censure Senator Kyrsten Sinema for her vote to keep the filibuster.
Saturday morning’s closed-door vote came after a flurry of anger from liberals who characterize Sinema, D-Arizona, as an obstructionist who helped slash Democrats’ chances of passing suffrage legislation. .
Censorship has no practical effect but delivers a strong message of condemnation and reflects the will of the party’s most active and loyal members.
Sinema’s votes to side with Republicans and centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., to uphold the Senate’s legislative filibuster rule helped kill Democrats’ push to pass two bills that would have established Election Day as a federal holiday, protected early and by mail-voting options, banning partisan gerrymandering, and bolstering election security, among other things. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the protections provided by the Voting Rights Act.
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Although Sinema sponsored both bills, she would not support changes to the Senate’s legislative filibuster, which requires a 60-vote majority to move most bills forward.
“As a party, our job is to support our Democratic candidates, and we appreciate Senator Sinema’s leadership in passing the U.S. bailout and the bipartisan infrastructure act,” said party chair Raquel. Terán, in a written statement. “However, we are also here to defend our voters and the consequences of failing to pass federal legislation that protects their right to vote are too significant and far-reaching. While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Board of Directors has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema due to her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy.
Hannah Hurley, spokeswoman for Sinema, responded by noting Sinema’s longstanding stance on filibuster and her desire to work outside of partisan politics. Sinema has repeatedly said the filibuster encourages moderation and prevents “wild swings” between opposing political parties.
“For three terms in the United States House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten always promised Arizonans that she would be an independent voice for the state – not for either political party,” said Hurley said in a written statement. “She delivered for the Arizonans and was always honest about her position.”
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Last September, members of the party’s state committee passed a resolution outlining potential actions the party could take if it stuck to its filibuster stance and delayed passing the bills on the right to vote. The resolution allowed the party’s executive committee to discuss how to move forward with possible “defiance” of Sinema.
The executive committee met behind closed doors before its annual meeting.
“I want to be clear, the Arizona Democratic Party is a diverse coalition with plenty of room for political disagreement, but on the issue of filibuster and the urgency to protect voting rights, we were perfectly clear. In the choice between an archaic legislative standard and protecting Arizonans’ right to vote, we choose the latter, and we always will,” Teran said in his statement.
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After the state’s GOP-led ballot review of 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County following the loss of former President Donald Trump, she said, the Republicans have introduced dozens of bills to “eliminate our popular and longstanding voting-by-mail system, elect to prison workers, and put Cyber Ninjas in charge of our elections. »
The censure echoes the Arizona Republican Party’s censures of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona. Among the senator’s crimes: working on comprehensive immigration reform and failing to follow a Conservative strategy to “defund” the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama.