Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
Photo: Gage Skidmore
The Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) has reportedly voted today to adapt a resolution pledging to issue a vote of “no confidence” in Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) if she does not support filibuster reform or President Joe Biden’s agenda when it is bought before Congress in the coming weeks.
In the motion, passed by over 80 percent of the party, the ADP also floats the possibility of censuring Sinema and withdrawing their support for her if and when she runs for her seat again in 2024.
The party did not officially announce the resolution, but voting delegates of the ADP shared the news online.
The ADP’s motion comes along with news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) will put three bills up for voting before the entire House of Representatives this week. The Democrats have a majority, albeit narrow, in the House and once they pass, they will move to the Senate.
In the Senate, the current filibuster rules allow for bills not to pass even if they have majority support.
NEW: the Arizona Democratic Party has passed a resolution pledging a 𝐯𝐨𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐧𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 in @KyrstenSinema if she refuses to vote to reform the filibuster.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) September 25, 2021
According to the motion “Concerning Kyrsten Sinema,” the ADP voted to “Reaffirm Our Support for Ending the Filibuster and Giving Notice of Possible Vote of NO Confidence.”
The resolution reads, “while we want Senator Sinema to be SUCCESSFUL, her argument that the filibuster protects the rights of minorities has become laughable in the face of Republican state legislators’ actions on voting rights, public health during the pandemic, and abortion rights.”
The ADP has therefore found that they will “closely watch Senator Sinema’s votes in the coming weeks and if [she] does not vote in favor of Filibuster reform… to allow the passage of the For The People Act voting rights bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill, and other urgent legislation… the [ADP] State Committee will go officially on record and will give Senator Sinema a vote of NO CONFIDENCE.”
The resolution also pledges that if Sinema has not supported such legislation by the next State Committee meeting in January 2022, they will “issue a formal letter of CENSURE to Senator Sinema with the clear understanding that she could potentially lose the support of the ADP in 2024.”
Several prominent Democrats and activists, including LGBTQ activists, have made clear they’ll oppose Sinema’s reelection if she doesn’t change her position. Civil rights leaders such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have both protested against her in recent months.
Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) have held up President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda for months by refusing to kill the filibuster, a procedural maneuver historically used to prevent the passage of civil rights legislation.
It is a relic of Jim Crow and is currently being used to stop voting reform, raising the minimum wage, and landmark LGBTQ civil rights legislation like the Equality Act, which protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in federal law.
The measure requires 60 votes instead of the usual 50 to get a bill passed. With the Senate equally divided 50-50, it effectively means that any bill requires the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass. The GOP has been united in opposing any legislation supported by Democrats and refused to support Biden’s agenda.
Without the opportunity to filibuster, 50 Democrats could vote in favor of a bill and Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, would break the tie.
When LGBTQ activists and donors pointedly issued an ultimatum demanding Sinema get on board or lose support from the community, the senator published an op-ed in the Washington Post defending her decision to scuttle bills that tackled issues she campaigned on. By refusing to remove the filibuster, Sinema has essentially doomed what she claims are her own priorities.
In a recently revealed video, several notoriously anti-LGBTQ politicians – chief among them former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) – tell an audience that they should thank Sinema for dooming LGBTQ rights laws.
More recently, hate group leader Brian Brown, a longtime anti-LGBTQ advocate and president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which still hopes to end marriage equality, also praised Sinema and used her position for fundraising.
The second resolution gives the ADP Chair and the Executive Board the authority and power to issue a letter of no AZ Dem Party support to Senator Sinema in 2024 if she fails to support voting rights reforms, the PRO act, and other critical democratic legislation. pic.twitter.com/2aNHNkeARH
— Brianna Westbrook (@BWestbrookAZ8) September 25, 2021