Kyrsten Sinema Censured By Arizona Democratic Party Over Opposition to Nixing Filibuster

Posted: Jan 22, 2022 3:40 PM
Kyrsten Sinema Censured By Arizona Democratic Party Over Opposition to Nixing Filibuster

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The Arizona Democratic Party's executive board announced Saturday that it has formally censured moderate Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema after she refused to vote in favor of changing the filibuster to pass voting legislation.

"I want to be clear, the Arizona Democratic Party is a diverse coalition with plenty of room for policy disagreements, however on the matter of the filibuster and the urgency to protect voting rights, we have been crystal clear," Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán said in a statement. "In the choice between an archaic legislative norm and protecting Arizonans’ right to vote, we choose the latter, and we always will."

Terán noted an appreciation for Sinema's efforts in helping to pass the bipartisan infrastructure legislation and the American Rescue Plan last year but said the consequences of not passing Democrats' federal election bills were "too large and far-reaching."

"While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy," she wrote.

The vote to censure Sinema over her opposition to changing Senate rules was unanimous, according to AZCentral.

This comes after Sinema, along with fellow moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.V.), bucked party lines earlier this week, joining all 50 Senate Republicans in voting to maintain the filibuster. And with the 60-vote threshold still in place, Democrats will be unable to pass the voting legislation.

The Arizona Democratic Party's move to censure Sinema is the result of a resolution passed in September allowing the executive board to censure the senator if she voted to keep the filibuster.

Sinema's office reiterated her support for voting legislation but noted that protecting the filibuster was vital.

"During three terms in the U.S. House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state -- not for either political party," Simena's office said in a statement. "She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands."

The Arizona senator said during a speech on the Senate floor last week that she will "continue to support these bills," referring to Democrats' federal election legislation, but that she "will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division affecting our country."