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Tue Apr 6, 2021, 02:26 PM

On the filibuster's future, Arizona's Sinema makes a flawed case [View all]

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Rachel Maddow MSNBC
"I read this paragraph several times, trying to better understand where Senator Sinema is coming from, but it's a difficult perspective to understand..."

On the filibuster's future, Arizona's Sinema makes a flawed case
What should happen when Republican senators are asked to "change their behavior," and they respond, "No"?
12:20 PM Apr 6, 2021


When it comes to efforts to reform the Senate's filibuster rules, proponents of institutional changes clearly have plenty of momentum. Many senators who, as recently as a few years ago, wanted to leave the chamber's status quo in place indefinitely have changed their minds.

But in the Senate Democratic conference, support for an overhaul is not yet universal. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) receives the bulk of the attention in this debate, in part because he's Congress' most conservative Democrat, and in part because he's been quite vocal in his opposition to major institutional changes.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), however, is every bit as opposed to filibuster reforms as Manchin -- and by some measures, more so. She just tends not to talk about it as much.

In early March, the Arizonan wrote a relatively long letter to a constituent, making the case for leaving the filibuster alone. It was good to see the senator tackle the issue in some detail, but Sinema's letter included suspect historical claims.

This week, the Democratic senator elaborated on her perspective to the Wall Street Journal.

"When you have a place that's broken and not working, and many would say that's the Senate today, I don't think the solution is to erode the rules," she said in an interview after two constituent events in Phoenix. "I think the solution is for senators to change their behavior and begin to work together, which is what the country wants us to do."


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