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Senator Kyrsten Sinema called on colleagues to “change their behavior” and work for compromises instead of attempting to eliminate the Senate filibuster, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
“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 Journal. “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.”
Sinema’s comments come amid pressure from progressive Democrats to eliminate the filibuster entirely, and allow legislation to pass the Senate with a simple majority in place of the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster. Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) has floated changing filibuster rules to make the procedure more difficult to use, without eliminating the filibuster entirely, however Sinema refused to discuss that possibility.
The purpose of the Senate is “to craft bipartisan solutions to solve the challenges we face in our country,” Sinema said.
The Senate is currently divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
Amid Republican opposition, Democrats used budget reconciliation rules to pass their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill by a simple majority. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced on Monday evening that the Senate parliamentarian approved using budget reconciliation for two additional bills, which could allow Democrats to pass the Biden administration’s infrastructure package.