Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D- Ariz.) solidified her position of protecting Senate minority rights by affirming her support of the filibuster.
As the vote on the controversial S.1 legislation approaches, Democrats have been advocating for the abolition of the filibuster to move the bill through seamlessly. Sinema reaffirmed this stance in an op-ed published in The Washington Post.
In the piece, the senator asserted that removing the filibuster would erode “democracy’s guardrails” and would leave the nation to “lose much more than we gain.”
Without the filibuster, a bill would only require a simple majority to pass the Senate rather than the 60 votes required to end the filibuster. Historically, the filibuster has been a safeguard of minority rights, forcing the majority to compromise with the minority to overcome said 60-vote threshold.
Sinema also noted that her position has been consistent throughout her career as a senator, because her commitment to the nation does not change whether her party is in the majority or minority.
“I held the same view during three terms in the U.S. House, and said the same after I was elected to the Senate in 2018,” she 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 minority or majority.”
Arguing that compromise is the best path forward, Sinema said that sweeping legislation without compromise will simply lead to Republicans reversing the laws if they return to the majority.
“Would it be good for our country if we [passed the For the People Act], only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?” she asked.
Along with the For the People Act, Democrats have been promulgating anti-filibuster narratives as a means of also passing the Equality Act.
On these grounds, a group of LGBT advocates penned a stern letter to her, urging the Arizona Democrat to abandon the filibuster in aim of passing the progressive legislation.
“If you refuse to do this,” they wrote, according to The Daily Caller, “we will have no choice but to seriously consider whether our support for you, including financial donations, may better serve our community if directed to another Democrat who will use their power as a US senator to stand up for our rights.”