Democrats in the state of Arizona are threatening to hold a vote of “no confidence” against Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) over her steadfast support for the filibuster rule in the United States Senate. The filibuster has been used by Republicans to block a number of key policies this year, which will likely continue unless it is reformed or abolished.
A resolution from the Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee also warned that it would hold a no-confidence vote on Sinema if she continues to obstruct a number of bills being pushed by party leaders in Congress, including legislation on voting rights, workers’ rights, health care and infrastructure.
“The Arizona Democratic Party State Committee will go officially on record and will give Senate [sic] Sinema a vote of NO CONFIDENCE” if she doesn’t back these bills, the resolution read.
The party is at a “critical crossroads,” the ADP noted. Both houses of Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives) could be lost in the 2022 midterms — and with that possible outcome, the ability to make laws meant to benefit the American people could also be lost.
If the filibuster has to end in order to expand rights, so be it, the party said, calling the legislative rule a “Jim Crow relic” and noting that the vast majority of ADP members have long been in support of ending it outright. The state party also decried Sinema’s attempts to keep it in place, ostensibly to preserve some fictional semblance of bipartisanship with Republicans, who are pledging to block a number of legislative items offered up by Democrats.
“While we want Senator Sinema to be SUCCESSFUL, her argument that the filibuster protects the rights of minorities has become laughable in the face of Republican state legislators’ actions on voting rights, public health during the pandemic, and abortion rights,” the resolution added.
Beyond the ADP, most of Sinema’s constituents (including a plurality of Republicans in the state) are fine with ending the Senate rule. In a Data for Progress poll conducted earlier this year, 61 percent of Arizona voters said they were in favor of ending the filibuster if it meant major legislation could be passed.
Democratic criticism toward Sinema for defending the filibuster goes beyond her own state. In June, after the senator wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post defending the legislative rule by arguing that its abolition could lead to Republicans simply undoing any new laws that are passed, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) blasted Sinema, characterizing her argument as defeatist.
“It’s essentially an argument of saying, ‘Well, why do anything at all, in case something in the future may change it,'” Ocasio-Cortez said.