Kyrsten Sinema took to the Senate floor yesterday opposing any changes to the filibuster, the Senate rule that requires 60 votes to advance legislation, while Democrats currently hold a bare majority in the 100-seat chamber and two voting rights bills are stalled.
“While I continue to support these [voting rights] bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” she said.
She added: “We must address the disease itself, the disease of division, to protect our democracy, and it cannot be achieved by one party alone. It cannot be achieved solely by the federal government. The response requires something greater and, yes, more difficult than what the Senate is discussing today.”
Sinema’s speech came at an extremely perilous moment for US democracy. Republican lawmakers in 19 states have enacted 34 new laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, that impose new voting restrictions.
They have also passed a slew of bills that seek to inject more partisan control into election administration and the counting of votes, an unprecedented trend experts are deeply concerned about and call election subversion.
Many of those measures have been passed in state legislatures on simple majority, party-line votes.