Senator Kyrsten Sinema, facing increasing pressure to remove the legislative hurdle that hampers much of the Democratic agenda, said the filibuster “protects our nation’s democracy” and that she would not vote for delete it.
“I have long been a supporter of filibuster because it is a tool that protects our nation’s democracy rather than allowing our country to ricochet wildly every two to four years between politicians,” Sinema said. , appearing before the press with GOP Sen. John Cornyn, Texas, after touring the migrant border facilities.
The moderate Arizona Democrat has become a thorn in the side of some members of her caucus seeking to remove the 60-vote barrier, forcing them to court 10 Republican votes in the divided Senate. Sinema, along with his centrist counterpart Joe Manchin, DW.Va., apparently faced the heat from President Biden on Wednesday who called “two Senate members who vote more with my Republican friends.”
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The president had pushed for the Senate to pass two bills to expand access to the vote.
Sinema rejected a “false choice” between filibuster and Democratic priorities and said the solution was to “change your behavior” rather than change the rules.
“When you have a system that isn’t working efficiently – and I think most would agree that the Senate is not exactly a well-oiled machine – the way to fix it is to change your behavior, not eliminate the rules, ”Sinema said.
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A reporter noted that some say filibuster is a relic of the Jim Crow era. “Systematic obstruction was not created as a tool to accomplish one thing or another, it was created as a tool to bring together members of different parties to find a compromise,” Sinema retorted. She added that the Senate was “designed to be a place where you cool the passions of the House, where you work to find compromises and, most importantly, where you protect the rights of the minority of the majority.”
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Manchin has expressed similar sentiments towards the legislative obstacle, even though Republicans have used it to block the creation of a commission to study the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill.
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