While it’s no secret that Arizona Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema is uncompromising in her support of the filibuster, her latest comments in a speech at the McConnell Center about her preference for Senate tradition are ruffling feathers once again.
The Democrat and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were both in attendance at his center at the University of Louisville when she advocated bringing back the 60-vote threshold for nomination votes.
“Not only am I committed to the 60 vote threshold, I have an incredibly unpopular view, I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already,” Sinema said.
.@SenatorSinema on Senate filibuster: "Not only am I committed to the 60 vote threshold, I have an incredibly unpopular view, I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already." pic.twitter.com/dJuH6vRvmM
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 26, 2022
The Hill reported that this implies the restoration of 60 votes for executive and judicial nominees, which was scrapped under Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2013. Calling out previous party leadership close to midterms is a bold move, and Sinema acknowledging the flaws in her own party’s past actions takes courage.
Sinema was censured by the Arizona Democratic Party in January for her support of the filibuster, as it benefits the minority party to block some legislation. These latest comments will likely not win her any new Democrat friends, but she is not up for reelection until 2024.
Sinema is aware of the criticism she receives, as she quipped “not everyone likes me” in her speech as well.
“As you all know, control changes between the House and the Senate every couple of years. It’s likely to change again in just a few weeks,” the Democrat said.
"Not everyone likes me."
— Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) jokes with the audience at the McConnell Center, after saying Democrats will "likely" lose some control of Congress after the midterms. pic.twitter.com/naEjHhKO5D
— The Recount (@therecount) September 26, 2022
Although Democrats might not like Sinema for supposedly holding up some agenda items, she seems to be one of the few seeing the bigger picture for both her party’s success and the nation as a whole. Republicans are able to collaborate and respect Sinema due to the outcomes (or lack of outcomes) of her principled fashion, whereas Democrats want her to get on board with the short-sighting means to achieve their goals.
While conservatives and liberals are both going to have moments of disagreement with the Senator at times, there is value in having someone who is able to publicly articulate the ebb and flow of Washington candidly.