Photos by Gage Skidmore | CC BY-SA 2.0
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey lauded Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for refusing to support a change to the Senate’s filibuster rules in order to pass a voting rights package.
“I want to give Senator Sinema credit for standing up and protecting a Senate rule that she believes in,” Ducey told reporters on Thursday. “This has existed for a long time. And this idea of getting to a majority and building consensus and bipartisan consensus is something that we’ve done on over 90% of the legislation we’ve been able to achieve at the state level. And I’m glad that she’s trying to bring people together.”
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Sinema and fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, broke with the rest of their caucus on Wednesday night, voting against a rule change that would have allowed the chamber to pass the voting rights bill with a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the 60 votes needed to bypass a Republican filibuster. The proposal failed after garnering only 48 votes in the Senate.
Sinema’s decision was cheered by Republicans, some of whom shook her hand after the vote, but enraged Democrats, who viewed the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as critical to ensure that all eligible voters can cast ballots in this year’s elections.
Democrats have grown increasingly concerned in the wake of legislation passed or proposed by Republicans in a number of states, including Arizona, that they believe is intended to make it more difficult for people to vote. Much of the legislation was inspired by lies that former President Donald Trump and many of his allies have spread, falsely claiming that the 2020 election was rigged against him.
Arizona’s other Democratic senator, Mark Kelly, ended a year of indecision on the filibuster, announcing Wednesday morning that he would vote for the rule change. Kelly had long refused to take a position on the filibuster, which Democrats have sought to eliminate since winning a narrow majority in the Senate a year ago.
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