Kyrsten Sinema: Filibuster a ‘Tool that Protects the Democracy of Our Nation’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 10: U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema speaks at the at the hearing on Type 1 Diabetes at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for JDRF)
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for JDRF

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has reaffirmed her support for the filibuster, saying it “protects the democracy of our nation” and forces bipartisan solutions.

Sinema’s remarks came during a press conference in Tucson, Arizona, on Tuesday as she explained why she missed a procedural vote to establish a January 6 commission to investigate the violence at the U.S. Capitol at the beginning of this year.

“As folks in Arizona know, I’ve long been a supporter of the filibuster because it is a tool that protects the democracy of our nation, rather than allowing our country to ricochet wildly every two to four years back and forth between policies,” Sinema told reporters, stressing the need for bipartisanship:

The idea of the filibuster was created by those who came before us in the United States Senate to create comity and to encourage senators to find bipartisanship and work together. And while there are some that do not believe bipartisanship is possible, I think I’m a daily example that bipartisanship is possible. So to those who say that we must make a choice between the filibuster and ‘X,’ I say, this is a false choice.

The reality is that when you have a system that is not working effectively — and I would think that most would agree that the Senate is not a particularly well-oiled machine, right? The way to fix that is to fix your behavior, not to eliminate the rules or change the rules, but to change the behavior.

“I’m going to continue to go to work every day aggressively seeking bipartisanship in a cheerful, happy warrior way as I always do and showing that when we work together we can get things done,” she added.

Further pressed on her stance, Sinema said the filibuster “was created as a tool to bring together members of different parties to find compromise and coalition.”

When you think about our Founding Fathers, when they created the Senate — with two senators from every state regardless of population size, with elections staggered every six years so that only a third of the body is up for election each cycle — it was designed to be a place where you pooled the passions of the House, where you work together to find compromise, and importantly, where you protect the rights of the minority from the majority, regardless of which party is in the majority at the time.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who voted to filibuster the creation of the January 6 commission, originally supported the effort, but later insisted he believed Democrats were using it as a political tool.

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