What did Sen. Kyrsten Sinema say about the filibuster?

KYRSTEN Sinema is the current senior United States Senator of Arizona.

Sinema became the first woman ever in Arizona's history to represent the state in the Senate, and the first Democrat elected to the seat since the 1980s.

What did Sen Kyrsten Sinema say about the filibuster?

In a Washington Post op-ed, Sinema defended her opposition to abolishing the 60-vote legislative filibuster.

The Arizona Senator said to abolish the filibuster would weaken "democracy's guardrails."

"If anyone expected me to reverse my position because my party now controls the Senate, they should know that my approach to legislating in Congress is the same whether in the minority or majority," Sinema wrote.

"My support for retaining the 60-vote threshold is not based on the importance of any particular policy. It is based on what is best for our democracy.

The filibuster compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles," she continued.

"I will not support an action that damages our democracy."

Sinema stated that it is "time for the Senate to debate the legislative filibuster," so senators and constituents "can hear and fully consider the concerns and consequences."

"Hopefully, senators can then focus on crafting policies through open legislative processes and amendments, finding compromises that earn broad support," she added.

Sinema continued: "Instability, partisanship and tribalism continue to infect our politics.

"The solution, however, is not to continue weakening our democracy’s guardrails. If we eliminate the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, we will lose much more than we gain."

What is a filibuster?

Filibustering is to deliberately waste time during a debate by making overlong speeches or raising unnecessary procedural points.

It means a bill or a motion may be "talked out" and stopped from making progress within the time allowed.

The practice goes as far back as the Roman Senate but has been used, and some may say abused, in democracies ever since.

It is often viewed as archaic and regressive because an older version of the filibuster was used by segregationists to block civil rights legislation.

The term is derived from the Spanish word “filibustero” meaning “pirate” and was first used in a political context by an American Congressman in 1853.

Around the world they have various rules attached to them.

US Senators are allowed to read out recipes or even the phonebook to run the clock down.

But in Britain MPs have to stay on point and current rules prevent them from lasting more than four hours.

How many senators oppose the filibuster?

In recent years, major critics of the filibuster have risen in the Senate, however, there is no confirmation that it will be removed or changed.

According to the Post, 17 senators have called for eliminating the filibuster.

Those senators includes:

  • Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders
  • Connecticut Sen Chris Murphy
  • Connecticut Sen Richard Blumenthal
  • Illinois Sen Richard J Durbin
  • Ohio Sen Sherrod Brown
  • Maryland Sen Ben Cardin
  • Pennsylvania Sen Robert P. Casey Jr
  • New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand
  • Hawaii Sen Mazie Hirono
  • New Mexico Sen Martin Heinrich
  • Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar
  • Massachusetts Sen Edward J Markey
  • Nevada Sen Jacky Rosen
  • Hawaii Sen Brian Schatz
  • Maryland Sen Chris Van Hollen

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