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Arizona Democratic Party formally censures Sinema

Kyrsten Sinema is in hot water with her fellow Democrats back at home.

The executive committee of the Arizona Democratic Party formally censured Senator Sinema over her vote against changing rules in the chamber to steer through voting rights legislation, the state party said on Saturday.

Sinema was one of two Democratic senators who joined with Republicans to vote against lowering the Senate's 60-vote threshold to 50 so that the Senate could pass voting rights bill without bipartisan support.

"But what is the legislative filibuster other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators representing a broader cross-section of Americans. A guardrail inevitably viewed as an obstacle holds a senate majority."

The censure is mostly a symbolic move, but it does highlight criticism that Sinema has faced from members of her own party, with polling indicating that Sinema is facing a rising amount of backlash from Democratic voters.

The failure to pass the legislation was a major blow to President Joe Biden's legislative agenda and for voting rights groups, which had been fighting a slate of laws passed in Republican-controlled states that election experts have said were designed to suppress voting, especially among Black, Hispanic and poor voters.

Experts and voting rights advocates say the states have passed the legislation largely to back former President Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was marred by rampant fraud.

Sinema's office shrugged off the censure in a statement.

A spokesperson said, "During three terms in the U.S. House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state - not for either political party. She's delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands."

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