Kyrsten Sinema Faces No Confidence Threat From Arizona Dems Over Filibuster

The Arizona Democratic Party has pledged to hold a vote of no confidence against state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema if she votes against filibuster reform, accusing her of continuing to protecting a "Jim Crow relic" under the guise of bipartisanship.

In a statement after a Saturday meeting, the Arizona Democratic Party State Committee said the Democratic Party was at a "critical crossroads" and could lose both the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections if legislation is not passed on issues including voting rights, healthcare and immigration.

It noted that an overwhelming 91 percent of committee members had called for an immediate elimination of the Senate filibuster—which the committee branded a "Jim Crow relic"—in May.

But Sinema, a Democrat, has maintained her ironclad commitment to preserving it despite ongoing appeals from local and national leaders, as well as months of protests and two sit-ins outside her office, it adds.

This was a great team effort from many AZ Dem Party leaders organized together in the Arizona Coalition to End the Filibuster. Thank you @OldGringoAz, @AnnHeitland, @BWestbrookAZ8, @PaulForArizona, @SenQuezada29, Patti Serrano & many others!

— Kai Newkirk #EndTheFilibuster (@kai_newkirk) September 25, 2021

She has long maintained that the filibuster forces Republicans and Democrats to work together.

"Senator Sinema remains steadfast in her support for the filibuster, does not support much of President Biden's Build Back Better Agenda and does not support the platform of the Arizona Democratic Party," the statement continued.

"On a Zoom call with the ADP Executive board, she disregarded appeals of our leaders doubling down on her factually contrary 'we need bipartisanship' argument for keeping the filibuster and has failed to hold a single northern, southern or central town hall with the citizens of Arizona."

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema walks to Senate chambers
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks to the Senate chambers at the U.S. Capitol on September 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

It went on: "While we want Senator Sinema to be SUCCESSFUL, her argument that the filibuster protects the rights of minorities has become laughable in the face of Republican state legislators' actions on voting rights, public health during the pandemic and abortion rights."

The committee added that the Arizona Democratic Party will closely monitor Sinema's votes in the coming weeks.

If she does not vote in favor of filibuster reform, the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill and the American Families Plan, the committee says it will press forward with a no confidence vote.

"If she continues to delay, disrupt, or vote to gut the Reconciliation Package of its necessary funding," the statement said, "then the Arizona Democratic Party State Committee will go officially on record and will give Senator Sinema a vote of NO CONFIDENCE."

Sinema has said she would not vote in support of Democrats' $3.5 trillion infrastructure plan, which its considered an important part of President Joe Biden's and congressional Democrats' agenda leading into next year's midterms.

"While I support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion," she said.

Kai Newkirk, a progressive organizer in Arizona, tweeted that Sinema was "setting her political future on fire" by obstructing the agenda that Democrats were elected to deliver. "If she doesn't change course drastically and soon, it will be too late," Newkirk tweeted.

Sinema's office has been contacted for comment.