Kyrsten Sinema censured by Arizona Democratic Party executive board over filibuster vote

Photo by Mandel Community organizations part of the Arizona Coalition to End the Filibuster gathered outside of Sen. Kysten Sinema’s office in Phoenix on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 to pressure the Congresswoman to support ending the filibuster. Phoenix police arrested 10 people at the rally who staged a sit-in./ Photo by Laura Gómez / Arizona Mirrors

By Yvonne Wingett Sanche | Arizona Republic

The vote Saturday came after anger from liberals who characterize her as an obstructionist who helped doomed passing voting-rights bills.

Members of the Arizona Democratic Party executive committee passed Saturday a resolution to censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over her vote to keep the filibuster. 

The closed-door vote Saturday morning came after an avalanche of anger from liberals who characterize Sinema, D-Ariz., as an obstructionist who helped doom Democrats’ chances at passing voting-rights legislation.

The censure has no practical effect but does deliver a strong message of condemnation and reflects the will of the party’s most active and loyal members. 

Sinema’s votes siding with Republicans and centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to maintain the Senate’s legislative filibuster rule helped kill Democrats’ push for passing two bills that would have established Election Day as a federal holiday, protected early- and mail-voting options, banned partisan gerrymandering and bolstered election security, among other things. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would re-establish protections under the Voting Rights Act. 

Though Sinema sponsored both bills, she would not support changes to the Senate’s legislative filibuster, which requires a 60-vote majority to move most bills.

“As a party, our job is to support our Democratic candidates, and we appreciate Senator Sinema’s leadership in passing the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” state party chair Raquel Terán said in a written statement. “However, we are also here to advocate for our constituents and the ramifications of failing to pass federal legislation that protects their right to vote are 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.”

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