Sinema cites “disease of division,” says she won’t support changing filibuster rules

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Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz.) reiterated her longtime support for a 60-vote Senate filibuster during a single. floor speech Thursday, scuttling Democrats’ hopes of reforming filibuster rules to pass voting rights legislation.

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Background: President Biden pitched his support behind changing filibuster rules to pass voting rights legislation earlier this week, and will attend a Senate Democratic caucus lunch Thursday to make his case.

big picture: Cinema has long articulated its opposition to eliminating Filibuster.

  • Cinema said Thursday that while she supports efforts to amend the voting rights law, she supports Republican efforts to reduce access to voting, but she will not support changes to Filbuster.

Running news: The House of Representatives passed a voting rights bill earlier Thursday that combines the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act.

  • That package now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uphill battle amid a lack of Republican support. Democrats are considering changing the chamber’s filibuster rules to pass the bill.

What are they saying: “The threat to American democracy is real. I share the concerns of civil rights advocates and others I’ve heard about these state laws in recent months,” Sinema said.

  • “I strongly support, and will continue to vote, legislative responses to address these state laws, including the Freedom to Vote Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which the Senate is currently considering.”
  • “While I continue to support these bills, I will not support individual actions that worsen the underlying disease of division that is plaguing our country.”
  • “There is no need for me to reinstate my longstanding support for the 60-vote limit to pass legislation … It’s an idea I saw during my years serving in both the US House and Senate. And that’s my view. Keep holding on.”
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