Kyrsten Sinema Faces Filibuster Campaign in Arizona

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is facing pressure from within her state over her stance on the filibuster. There have been calls for reform and progressive Democrats have pushed for the filibuster to be abolished.

However, Sinema has expressed reservations on doing away with the filibuster. In a statement, reported by The New York Times and AZ Central, Sinema said: "Retaining the legislative filibuster is not meant to impede the things we want to get done.

"Rather, it's meant to protect what the Senate was designed to be: a place where senators come together, find compromise and get things done for our country."

In January, a spokesperson for Sinema said she was against eliminating the filibuster and "not open to changing her mind" on that point.

Brianna Westbrook, who was a vice-chair of the Arizona Democratic Party and is its education coordinator, touted a fresh push to encourage Sinema to alter her stance.

Sharing a clip of an old interview with Sinema from when she was in the U.S. House, Westbrook wrote: "Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is right: 'things are so bad' in Arizona, so we are organizing a collective movement to push Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to fix the problem of the Senate Filibuster... by ending it."

Westbrook subsequently encouraged people to contact Sinema's office to tell her to "#AbolishTheFilibuster."

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is right: “things are so bad” in Arizona, so we are organizing a collective movement to push Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to fix the problem of the Senate Filibuster... by ending it.
@kyrstensinema pic.twitter.com/Z83YuTSEWU

— Brianna Westbrook (@BWestbrookAZ8) March 16, 2021

Newsweek has contacted Westbrook for further details of the plans.

A Data for Progress poll conducted among 662 likely voters in Arizona from February 19 to 22 highlighted support for passing major legislation over preserving Senate procedures.

Respondents were asked: "Is it more important to you that your Senators pass major legislation to address the problems we face as a nation, or that they preserve traditional Senate procedures and rules like the filibuster?"

The majority, 61 percent, said it is more important to pass major legislation. Around a quarter, 26 percent, said it was more important to preserve traditional Senate procedures.

Split down party lines, 76 percent of Democrats asked said it is more important to pass major legislation. Of independent and third party voters, 66 percent said the same.

For Republicans, 43 percent said it was more important to preserve traditional Senate procedures and 42 percent opted for passing major legislation.

The Senate is split 50-50 at the moment, with Democrats able to secure a simple majority through Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. However, avoiding a filibuster requires 60 votes.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said the potential of eliminating the filibuster is "on the table."

Newsweek has contacted Sinema's office for comment on the filibuster.

kyrsten sinema at committee hearing
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) questions witnesses during a hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on May 14, 2019 in Washington, D.C. She has spoken of being against eliminating the filibuster. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images