Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., on Monday said the Senate should reinstate the 60-vote threshold for judicial and executive branch nominees.
In remarks at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville in Kentucky — where Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced her — Sinema, a moderate, admitted "not only am I committed to the 60-vote threshold, I have an incredibly unpopular view."
"I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already. We should restore it," Sinema said to scattered cheers.
The remarks can be viewed on C-Span around the 30-minute mark.
"Not everyone likes that because it would make it harder for us to confirm judges and it would make it harder for us to confirm executive appointments in each administration," Sinema said. "But I believe that if we did restore it, we would see more of that middle ground in all parts of our governance, which is what, I believe, our forefathers intended."
The 60-vote threshold for non-Supreme Court judicial nominations and executive branch nominees was ended when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Democrats invoked the so-called "nuclear option" in 2013, The Hill noted.
McConnell and Republicans went a step further for Supreme Court nominees in 2017 during the confirmation process of Justice Neil Gorsuch, The Hill reported.
In her remarks, Sinema pointed to the volatility of the House and the frequency with which both chambers flip control as part of why the filibuster should remain in place.
"It's likely to change again in just a few weeks," she said, pointing to the November elections.
"While it is frustrating as a member of the minority in the United States Senate — and equally as frustrating in the majority, because you must have 60 votes to move forward — that frustration represents solely the short-term angst of not getting what you want," Sinema said. "We shouldn't get everything we want in the moment because later, upon cooler reflection, you recognize that it has probably gone too far."
The Hill noted that Sinema is facing a likely primary challenge in 2024, potentially by Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., as progressive Democrats become more frustrated with Sinema's views.
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