Arizona Democratic Party executive board censures Sinema over filibuster, voting legislation dispute

Democratic senator has bucked party line and helped stymie key Biden policy.

Updated: January 22, 2022 - 2:38pm

The executive board of the Arizona Democratic Party has voted to censure party member Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over her decision to vote with Senate Republicans not to change the chamber's filibuster rules.

Those rules generally require 60 votes to advance most legislation in the Senate. That policy has effectively allowed Republicans to block Democratic legislation in the Senate, most lately Democrats' efforts to overhaul U.S. voting laws. 

Following Sinema's refusal to change that rule, the executive board slammed the filibuster as an "archaic legislative norm" and announced a formal rebuke of Sinema herself.

"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," party Chairperson Raquel Terán said. "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."

Sinema has defended her decision to preserve the filibuster, stating that while she supports the overall Democratic legislative efforts, she will "not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division affecting our country."