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Sinema Argues Senators Should 'Change Their Behavior,' Instead of the Chamber Rules

As some are pushing to eliminate the legislative filibuster so that Democrats can pass legislation with just 51 votes as bipartisan support for their agenda appears allusive, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is arguing that the issue is not the procedural hurdle.

“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,” Sinema told The Wall Street Journal.

She added, “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.”

The Senate’s website describes the filibuster as “a loosely defined term for action designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill, resolution, amendment, or other debatable question.”

The procedural hurdle means that most legislation requires 60 votes to pass, a requirement that can be hard to meet as the Senate is divided 50-50. That means Democrats would need at least 10 Republicans to vote for most of their legislation to pass the chamber.

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However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has signaled that he will “fight [Democrats] every step of the way because I think this is the wrong prescription for America.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), who also opposes scrapping the filibuster, said he could support changes to how the hurdle is used returning to a “talking filibuster” where senators are required to be present and talking on the Senate floor.

However, Sinema has not said whether she would support changes to the filibuster.

The Arizona Democrat previously vowed, “They will not get my vote on [nuking the filibuster].”

“In fact, whether I’m in the majority or the minority, I would always vote to reinstate the protections for the minority… It is the right thing for the country,” she added.

Additionally, she said she would like to require that presidential nominations require 60 votes to win confirmation.

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