Unlike the majority of her norm-breaking Democrat colleagues, U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is pushing to restore norms, at least when it comes to the upper chamber's filibuster rules.
Speaking at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville on Monday, Sinema explained again that she strongly believes in the value and importance of the legislative filibuster — a position she's taken much to the chagrin of her power-hungry Democrat colleagues who have pushed for a shortsighted move to blow up the guardrail that requires bipartisan agreement to advance legislation in the world's greatest deliberative body.
"The danger of eliminating the 60-vote threshold is that the Senate becomes the House, and I remind everyone I left the House and ran for the Senate for a reason," Sinema joked. "I remember my early years — I served for six years in the House of Representatives — I remember being so frustrated during those six years because I felt like every time there was a big bipartisan solution that needed to happen, the Senate just kind of came up with the solution and then gave it to the House and we just ate it — and that's why I ran for the Senate," Sinema continued. "I thought, 'wait a second, they're doing the work.'"
The Arizona Democrat continued by explaining why the Senate ought to protect the legislative filibuster as a check on the hurried, often impassioned work of the House as the lower chamber's members seek to get as much done as quickly as possible during their two-year terms.
"When Republicans are in control, they pass a little bit of crazy legislation — and when Democrats are in control, they pass a little bit of crazy legislation, and the job of the Senate is to cool that passion," Sinema explained.
"There's a saying that the House is the cup of hot tea, and the Senate is the saucer in which you cool that tea," she continued. "The Senate was designed to be a place that moves slowly, to cool down those passions, to think more strategically and long-term about the legislation before us."
In these latest remarks defending the filibuster, Sinema went beyond her usual defense of the procedural mechanism as it stands. "The best thing you can do for your child is to not give them everything they want, right?" Sinema asked rhetorically. "And that's important to the United States Senate as well — we shouldn't get everything we want in the moment."
What a refreshing divergence from Sinema's power-hungry colleagues who've threatened to pack the Supreme Court, abolish the Electoral College, and blow up the filibuster in order to get their way in the near-term but lose minority control in the future.
"So not only am I committed to the 60-vote threshold, I have an incredibly unpopular view," Sinema quipped. "I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already. We should restore it — not everyone likes that."
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) says she's not only against abolishing the filibuster, she's for strengthening it: "The best thing you can do for your child is to not give them everything they want... We should restore the 60-vote threshold for areas in which it has been eliminated." pic.twitter.com/OR53ymuE4x— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) September 26, 2022
No kidding. Sinema has taken significant incoming from Democrats and leftist activists for her defense of the filibuster already, and her desire to bring it back is wise from a Democrat standpoint staring down a future in which Biden's party doesn't control the upper chamber or eventually the White House.
In 2013, Democrats used the so-called "nuclear option" to change the rules to eliminate the filibuster from consideration of executive nominees and all judicial nominees except those nominated to the Supreme Court. Then, in 2017, Republicans employed the nuclear option to extend Democrats' 2013 rule change to also include Supreme Court nominees in order to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Court.
Reinstating the filibuster for executive nominees and all judicial nominees would give Democrats significant power if they find themselves back as the minority party under a Republican administration, while granting that same power to Republicans for the remainder of Biden and Schumer's reign.
But Schumer and the rest of his goonies in the Senate's Democrat leadership, of course, don't seem to care about making sure there are guardrails available to make sure they have the power to check a future Republican's power — and much like Democrats were warned when they nuked the filibuster in 2013, they may regret not bringing back minority protections when they had the chance.