Sinema Tweets Support Of HR1 While Also Upholding Main Obstacle To Its Passage

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) expressed her full-fledged support of the For The People Act Thursday night, noting that she was a cosponsor. 

She did not mention, though, that another position she holds dear makes her one of the sole obstacles to the bill’s passage. 

Sinema is one of two senators, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has publicly maintained opposition to doing away with or changing the filibuster. She’s been fairly taciturn on her reasoning though, recently telling reporters on Capitol Hill that she had no comment on the topic for them, laughing that she “loved their enthusiasm” when they kept pushing for specifics.

HR1 must go through regular order, meaning that it needs 10 Republican votes with the filibuster in its current state. Based on GOP comments so far, as well as the party’s embrace of restrictive voting legislation on the state level, it is very unlikely to garner that bipartisan support.

Some Democrats have suggested appeasing Sinema and Manchin’s love of the filibuster by establishing a special carveout on voting rights legislation (selectively “going nuclear,” like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did recently on Supreme Court nominations). 

But Manchin dismissed that idea, comparing it to being “a little bit pregnant,” and claimed that there is bipartisan support for many of the bill’s measures. He has suggested stripping out some pieces from HR1 to make it more palatable to Republicans. 

Sinema has not publicly positioned herself on such specifics. She gave an inch more on her feelings towards the filibuster in general during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. She, like Manchin, dug into her filibuster support during recess while away from Washington D.C.

“When you have a place that’s broken and not working, and many would say that’s the Senate today, I don’t think the solution is to erode the rules,” she said this week. “I think the solution is for senators to change their behavior and begin to work together, which is what the country wants us to do.”

Her reasoning deeply frustrated anti-filibuster activists, as the chances that Republicans will simply “change their behavior” to help Democrats pass their legislative priorities without the pressure of threatened filibuster elimination seem nonexistent. 

Up to this point, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been notably bullish on bringing legislation, like HR1, that seems to have a dim future as long as the filibuster persists, to the floor for a vote. He promised that it would be one of the first priorities when the Senate returns from recess next week. 

Even more traditional Democrats who have recently balked at eliminating or chipping away at the filibuster — like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — have warmed to the idea in recent weeks, almost always specifically citing the need to expand and protect voting rights amid the nationwide assault.

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Notable Replies

  1. Sinema Tweets Support Of HR1 While Upholding Main Obstacle To Its Passage

    In return I’ll consider proclaiming my “support” for her while funding a primary opponent.

  2. Manchin is the best we can hope for in West Virginia, but Sinema can be replaced by someone better and should face a primary challenge if she does not shift her position on the filibuster.

  3. I know it’s still early for 2024, but who’s primarying this twee little performative showboating pain in the ass?

  4. [“Sinema is one of two senators, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has publicly maintained opposition to doing away with or changing the filibuster. She’s been fairly taciturn on her reasoning though, recently telling reporters on Capitol Hill that she had no comment on the topic for them, laughing that she ‘loved their enthusiasm’ when they kept pushing for specifics.”]

    Denying the vote to American citizens is not a laughing matter.

  5. Again, we’re dealing with hypotheticals. Words are cheap. Actions speak louder.

    Until this comes to a vote, we really have no idea where ANYone stands on this.

    Did we learn nothing from following the polls in the last two elections? People lie; people prevaricate; people say one thing and do another.

    This is the same scenario. I’m not willing to, literally, take anyone’s word for it - the proof is in the vote with an actual ‘yea’ or ‘nay’, thumb up; thumb down.

    Nothing matters prior to that.

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