U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema is being praised and panned for the remarks she delivered Thursday on the floor of the Senate on voting rights, and her opposition to ending the filibuster. Sinema addressed America’s divisions, and the work and role of the U.S. Senate.
Sinema Delivers Senate Floor Remarks on Voting Rights, America’s Divisions, and the U.S. Senate https://t.co/72zAFWDPjO
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) January 13, 2022
“I rise at a challenging and divisive time for our nation,” began Sinema. “For years, America’s politics have spiraled steadily downward into increasingly bitter, tribal partisanship – and our democracy has been strained. While that may sound abstract, it is a problem that hurts Americans in real, tangible ways.”
Sinema said the divisions are hurting leaders’ “ability to work together to create new job opportunities, protect the health and safety of our communities and country, and to ensure everyday families get ahead. Americans across the country know this. They see it every day – not only on social media and cable news, but at their jobs and around their dinner tables. We are divided.”
“It is more likely today that we look at other Americans who have different views and see the “other,” or even see them as enemies – instead of as fellow countrymen and women who share our core values,” continued Sinema. “It’s more common today to demonize someone who thinks differently than us, rather than to seek to understand their views.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego, who earned a reputation for trolling female colleagues whose jobs he coveted, immediately launched into a diatribe against Sinema on the floor of the U.S. House. Gallego has made it known that he hopes to challenge Sinema in the Democratic Party Party when her term expires.
Democracy is under attack, and Congress must respond. pic.twitter.com/0gLtja6srL
— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) January 13, 2022
Gallego wasn’t the only one to go after Sinema. The Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party issued a statement condemning Sinema’s call to protect the “antiquated Rule (filibuster) over her constituents.”
Largely escaping media scrutiny and pressure from Democratic activists is Arizona’s other Democratic Senator Mark Kelly, whose 2022 race continues to tilt towards the GOP. Kelly has been largely quiet on the topic and has, according to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), allowed Sinema to do the talking in defense of the filibuster. In the past, Kelly said he didn’t believe eliminating the filibuster was “a serious solution but rather a political talking point.” He seems well aware that he can’t afford to lose his liberal base in this year’s election by defending the filibuster, while ending it would also cost him moderate support he will need if he intends to win re-election.
“Kelly’s worst nightmare is having a vote on the filibuster actually take place and having to take a real position.” said one Republican operative, adding “He owes his political life to Sinema for taking the flak on the issue and letting him hide behind her skirt.”