Sinema censured by Arizona Democrats for blocking voting rights legislation
The symbolic gesture Saturday from Arizona Democrats adds to the mounting pressure Sinema is facing from those in her state who helped her flip a Senate seat in 2018. Sinema — who started her political career as a progressive — has been a target on the left during Biden’s administration for her stances.
“While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán said in a statement, following a meeting of the executive board Saturday morning.
“I want to be clear, the Arizona Democratic Party is a diverse coalition with plenty of room for policy disagreements, however on the matter of the filibuster and the urgency to protect voting rights, we have been crystal clear,” Terán said. “In the choice between an archaic legislative norm and protecting Arizonans’ right to vote, we choose the latter, and we always will.”
In a statement Saturday, Sinema’s office defended her record.
“During three terms in the U.S. House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state — not for either political party. She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands,” Sinema spokesperson Hannah Hurley said.
Democrats have grown increasingly frustrated with Sinema and Manchin in recent months as they continue to vote against the wishes of Democratic leaders while the party has a slim majority in the House and Senate — which they could possibly lose in the upcoming 2022 midterms.
Sinema was also a critic of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act’s original $3.5 trillion price tag, which could also only be passed with 51 votes, and pushed to pare down the cost.