Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was formally censured by the Arizona Democratic Party on Saturday, after her vote on the Senate’s filibuster rules effectively blocked Democrats’ voting rights legislation, The Associated Press reported.
The rebuke is symbolic but signals the growing distance between Sinema and some Democratic party leaders and donors, according to AP.
The chair of the Arizona Democratic party, Raquel Terán, said in a statement that the party voted for the censure because “ramifications of failing to pass federal legislation that protects (constituents’) right to vote are too large and far-reaching,” per NPR.
The decision was “a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” Terán added.
Sinema, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted with Republicans to maintain the filibuster rules in the Senate. Changing the filibuster rules would have allowed Senate Democrats to pass voting rights legislation with a simple majority, according to The New York Times.
While Sinema has said that she supports the voting rights legislation, she does not support passing it by changing the filibuster, according to AP. She has said that the filibuster forces bipartisanship and allows the minority party to have a voice.
“When one party need only negotiate with itself, policy will inextricably be pushed from the middle towards the extremes,” Sinema said in a floor speech last week, per AP.
Several groups are already raising funds to challenge Sinema when she runs for reelection in 2024, including the Primary Sinema Project, which has collected over $300,000 from nearly 12,000 donors, AP reported.