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Politics Democrats have had enough of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s obstruction

01:21  24 january  2022
01:21  24 january  2022 Source:   vox.com

Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to filibuster reform rests on a myth

  Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to filibuster reform rests on a myth Senate rules are fostering obstruction — not bipartisanship.As Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, has emphasized, however, the belief that the filibuster fuels bipartisanship is one of many myths about the rule. The filibuster requires most bills to get 60 votes in order to proceed in the Senate, but it’s often used as a tool to obstruct legislation, not foster it.

Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) for blocking the party’s voting-rights legislation. The move left the question of whether the party will support her if she runs again in 2024, 12 News reported . Party chairwoman state Sen . Raquel Teran of west Phoenix, wrote in a statement, “As a party, our job is to support our Democratic candidates, and we appreciate Senator Sinema ’ s leadership in passing the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law”: However, we are also here to advocate for our constituents and the ramifications of failing to pass federal legislation that protects their right to vote

Kyrsten Sinema . Democrats have been clamoring to know what her red lines are on the legislation. Now that they know, they wish they didn’t. Ritchie Torres told CNN of the caucus’ (somewhat dramatic) feelings toward Sinema , “we live under the tyranny of Kyrsten Sinema .” And how, then, would Democrats come up with the budget hole that Sinema ’ s objections create? One idea that Sinema hasn’t ruled out is an annual tax on the unrealized gains of billionaires, also known as “mark to market.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is facing a series of rebukes from elected Democrats, progressive organizations, and members of her own state party after her refusal last week to support an exception to the filibuster to advance a major voting rights bill.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) arrives for a Senate vote in the US Capitol on October 28, 2021. © Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) arrives for a Senate vote in the US Capitol on October 28, 2021.

Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), spurned a Democratic effort to restore the talking filibuster for voting rights legislation in order to pass the Freedom To Vote and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement acts, and the effort ultimately failed by a vote of 48 to 52 on Wednesday.

As voting rights push fizzles, Biden's failure to unite his own party looms again

  As voting rights push fizzles, Biden's failure to unite his own party looms again Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, both Democrats, said Thursday they were against filibuster changes, spoiling Biden's efforts to pass voting rights.On Thursday, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, dealt a potentially fatal blow to Biden’s renewed push for federal voting rights legislation. In a surprise speech on the Senate floor, she flatly rejected Biden’s plea – issued less than 48 hours earlier – to change the filibuster rules so Democrats could muscle through the voting rights bill without any Republican votes.

Well Sen . Sinema here's another hit you might be familiar with. Schumer should’ve seen this months ago and handled it. The blame also goes to the rest of the party machine for making what should’ve been a “speed bump” of progress into a “brick wall”. Sinema ’ s actions are giving Republicans the ammunition to win the midterms and run on “the democrats have done nothing with the levers of power”.

Sen . Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has surfaced as one of the only Democrat defenders of the filibuster, having to reject attempts from her own party to persuade her in eliminating the 60-vote requirement in order to advance most pieces of legislation. Sinema joined with another Democrat , Sen . Joe Manchin (D-WV), to block their party from eliminating the filibuster. Recently Breitbart News reported, Manchin conveyed Democrats do not have enough votes in the Senate to pass President Joe Biden’ s .25 trillion infrastructure proposal due to six or seven Democrats who oppose raising the corporate

Now, however, her vote could cost her politically: Donors and progressive organizations have announced they are pulling their support this week, and Sinema could also face a serious primary challenge in 2024, should she run for reelection to the Senate.

Notably, Emily’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice — both national political organizations focused on electing pro-choice women to political office — withdrew their support for Sinema on Thursday.

“We believe the decision by Sen. Sinema is not only a blow to voting rights and our electoral system but also to the work of all the partners who supported her victory and her constituents who tried to communicate the importance of this bill,” Emily’s List president Laphonza Butler said in a statement Thursday, formally withdrawing the organization’s support for Sinema.

King family to rally in Arizona for voting bills for MLK Day

  King family to rally in Arizona for voting bills for MLK Day PHOENIX (AP) — As the nation prepares to mark the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., some members of his family are spending it in conservative-leaning Arizona to mobilize support for languishing federal voting rights legislation. Martin Luther King III; his wife, Arndrea Waters King; and their daughter Yolanda Renee King, 13, will take part Saturday in an on-the-ground campaign for voting rights in Phoenix. They will march with local activists and supporters from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, a predominantly Black church, and speak about the importance of “no celebration without legislation.

Sen . Kyrsten Sinema ' s declaration on the Senate floor that she'll never vote to end the filibuster ignited "White-hot rage" from progressives in her home state of Arizona where grassroots efforts to find someone to challenge her are gaining steam. "Unfortunately, instead of getting things done, Senator Kyrsten Sinema has decided to use her power in the Senate to obstruct much of Biden's agenda-including on the crucial issue of voting rights, which she claims to support," the Primary Sinema Project memo read. Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Un-PAC A risky effort for Democrats .

Arizona Sen . Kyrsten Sinema , a Democrat , received the maximum donation allowed by law by several longtime GOP donors, according to a campaign fundraising report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission. Other GOP donors who backed Sinema include Marc Rowan, the CEO of the private equity firm Apollo who backed Trump' s failed bid for reelection, and his wife, Carolyn, who individually donated the maximum legal limit. Private equity executive Anthony De Nicola, who also has backed the Senate Leadership Fund, also donated the maximum legal limit to Sinema , according to Mother Jones.

That announcement, notes Ben Giles, a reporter for NPR affiliate KJZZ in Phoenix, Arizona, is significant for multiple reasons. First, it’s unusual for pro-choice organizations to come out against the filibuster, because it’s historically been a tool used to protect abortion rights. Additionally — and perhaps more importantly for Sinema’s political future — Emily’s List was by far the largest donor to Sinema’s 2018 campaign, according to OpenSecrets, contributing nearly half a million dollars.

NARAL, which also backed Sinema during her successful 2018 Senate race, tweeted Thursday that “there’s no reproductive freedom without the freedom to vote” and said the organization would change its endorsement criteria to only endorse “senators who support changing the Senate rules to pass the critical legislation that will protect voting rights.”

Analysis: A grave week for civil rights, democracy and a presidency

  Analysis: A grave week for civil rights, democracy and a presidency Democrats appear certain to add another failure to their list of missed deadlines and thwarted legacy goals this week, with a push for voting rights bills expected to crash in the Senate with humiliating implications for Joe Biden's presidency.The party faces a moment of stark symbolism just a day after the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., which Democrats had set as a deadline to pass new laws to counter Republican curtailments on voting in multiple states.

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has been censured by the state’s Democratic Party for her opposition to removing the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation without Republican support. “While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the [Arizona Democratic Party] Executive Board has Multiple groups are fundraising to mount a primary challenge against Ms Sinema in 2024. The last Democratic Senator to represent Arizona before Ms Sinema ’ s election in 2018 was Dennis DeConcini, who retired in 1995. The vice-chair of the Arizona Democrats , Michael Slugocki, told Insider that the

Kyrsten Lea Sinema (/ˈkɪərstən ˈsɪnəmə/ KEER-stən SIN-ə-mə; born July 12, 1976) is an American politician, attorney, and social worker serving as the senior United States Senator from Arizona since

“The freedom to vote underpins our fight for reproductive freedom and every other freedom we hold dear,” the group said in a statement following the vote on Wednesday. “Absolutely nothing should stand in the way of urgent action to ensure every voter has the freedom to participate in safe and accessible elections.”

According to Politico, 70 major donors to Sinema’s 2018 campaign also wrote Sinema a letter prior to Wednesday night’s vote, saying they would ask for their donations to be returned should she vote against filibuster reform, as she ultimately did.

“We must draw a line,” the donors wrote. “We cannot in good conscience support you if you refuse to use your office to protect our fundamental rights to vote, and we will be obliged to back alternatives for your seat who will do the right thing for our country.”

Most recently, the Arizona Democratic Party executive board voted Saturday to censure Sinema, setting up a potential vote of no confidence.

According to one Arizona Democratic operative who spoke with Vox on the condition of anonymity, the state party isn’t likely to take that step — but Sinema’s political future in the state could still be in trouble.

“I really don’t see a path for her to win the Democratic primary right now,” the operative told Vox, and even if she does, it’s not a sure thing the party will choose to support her in 2024. “I really do feel like we were forced into this position,” they said. “This isn’t about, ‘she isn’t progressive enough,’ it’s a pattern.”

Sinema has been frustrating Democratic leadership all year, particularly with her refusal to back elements of President Joe Biden’s proposed social spending and climate change bill, the Build Back Better Act. The senator initially opposed the bill’s $3.5 trillion price tag, which was whittled down to around $1.75 trillion by the time Congress took its holiday break, and she has also said she opposes an increase to the corporate minimum tax rate to help pay for the bill’s proposals.

Sinema’s continued defense of the filibuster, however — even at the cost of major Democratic legislation which Sinema herself supports — proved to be a step too far for many Democrats. As Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, explained in conversation with Vox’s Li Zhou earlier in January, Sinema’s filibuster rhetoric bears little resemblance to the rule’s actual function.

Kyrsten Sinema’s Moment of Infamy

  Kyrsten Sinema’s Moment of Infamy The enigmatic Democrat votes for the filibuster and against her party.But Wednesday felt a little bit like the good old days in the Senate. In a rare sight, the chamber was filled with members actually listening to debate. In the corner, hunched over a cell phone, one senator was about to do something old-fashioned: Risk their career on a matter of principle.

“We’re finally seeing, I think, a level of frustration, over the misuse of the filibuster, not as an infrequently applied tool by a minority on an issue about which they feel very, very strongly, but as a cynical weapon of mass obstruction,” Ornstein explained. “Certainly there was a time when we had well-established norms in the Senate that fostered problem-solving and bipartisanship. That time is long gone.”

Is Sinema really at risk in 2024?

In addition to the immediate backlash to her stance on the filibuster, Sinema’s long-term political prospects could be in jeopardy. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has already voiced support for a potential primary challenge against Sinema, and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who is considered a likely candidate to challenge Sinema in 2024, says he has spoken with multiple Senate Democrats about doing so.

Gallego also called out Sinema by name in a floor speech earlier this month, following Sinema’s announcement that she would not support an exception to the filibuster for voting rights. “We won’t shrink from protecting our democracy and the voting rights of all Americans,” Gallego said. “It’s past time for the US Senate and Senator Sinema to do the same.”

On Sunday, Sanders also told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he supports the Arizona Democratic Party’s decision to censure Sinema. “That was a terrible, terrible vote,” Sanders said. “And I think what the Arizona Democratic Party did was exactly right.”

The Filibuster Is Still Doomed

  The Filibuster Is Still Doomed The question is who will benefit most when it finally falls.In the end, they did neither.

Vox reached out to Sinema’s office for comment about a potential 2024 primary challenge and Saturday’s censure by the state Democratic Party, but didn’t receive a response prior to publication.

The Arizona Democratic operative, though, told Vox that Sinema’s stance is particularly out-of-step with the reality of Arizona’s political climate when it comes to voting rights.

“The stakes are incredibly high,” they said. “We are ground zero for voter suppression.”

Sinema’s support among Arizona Democrats has already begun to flag in recent months in some polls. In September, 56 percent of Democrats viewed her favorably, according to a poll from OH Predictive Insights with a sample size of 882 Arizona voters, but a January 18 poll from Public Policy Polling of 554 Arizona voters found only 15 percent of Democrats viewed her favorably.

“All I’ll say is that she created the circumstances she now finds herself in,” Tré Easton, the deputy director of Battle Born Collective, a progressive advocacy group, told Vox via text message regarding a potential primary challenge to Sinema. “The people of Arizona deserve better — either from her or another Democrat.”

And while Sinema hasn’t lost all of her backing — she still has substantial support from big donors in the pharmaceutical and financial industries — it may not be enough to keep her seat come 2024. In addition to a potential primary challenge, Arizona is a purple state where the eventual Democratic Senate nominee will likely find themselves in a close general election race, and the state has been home to aggressive voter suppression efforts by Republican state officials.

It makes for a puzzling stance from “one of the smartest people in Arizona politics” and someone who’s previously been seen as a long-term thinker, the Arizona Democratic operative told Vox.

“A lot of folks are really struggling to answer the question of, ‘What is the strategy here?’” they said.

Sinema censured by Arizona Democrats for blocking voting rights legislation .
The Arizona Democratic Party's executive board announced Saturday that it formally censured Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for voting to maintain the Senate's filibuster rules, effectively blocking Democrats' voting legislation that is a key priority for the party. © Senate TV The symbolic gesture Saturday from Arizona Democrats adds to the mounting pressure Sinema is facing from those in her state who helped her flip a Senate seat in 2018. Sinema -- who started her political career as a progressive -- has been a target on the left during Biden's administration for her stances. Sinema and Sen.

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