While some prominent GOP members spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day being dragged online for praising the civil rights leader while opposing legislation protecting voting rights, one of his biggest passions, it wasn’t only Republicans who were blocking it. Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin aren’t playing ball either. And now the former is being rebuked by the very group that once helped her get elected.
On Tuesday, Emily’s List, the largest donor for female Democratic candidates who are for abortion rights, announced they were rescinding their support of Sinema after over a decade of support. The issue was her continued opposition to alter the Senate filibuster so Republicans can’t thwart two voter rights bills from passing. Those bills would counter voter suppression efforts made by Republicans at the state level.
— EMILY's List (@emilyslist) January 18, 2022
In a statement, Laphonza Butler, the president of Emily’s List, wrote that she had joined others in trying to impress upon Senator Sinema the importance of the pending voting rights legislation in the Senate.” Alas, “those concerns have not been addressed.”
So, for now at least, they were dropping her. “Right now, Senator Sinema’s decision to reject the voices of allies, partners and constituents who believe the importance of voting rights outweighs that of an arcane process means she will find herself standing alone in the next election,” Butler wrote. She added:
“So, we want to make it clear: if Sen. Sinema can not support a path forward for the passage of this legislation, we believe she undermines the foundations of our democracy, her own path to victory and also the mission of EMILY’s List, and we will be unable to endorse her moving forward.”
Sinema released her own statement Tuesday night in which she defended the filibuster, saying it “has been used repeatedly to protect against wild swings in federal policy, including in the area of protecting women’s health care.”
Emily’s List was, as The New York Times noted, “by far” the biggest contributor to Sinema’s 2018 Senate campaign. She already faces stiff competition when her seat is up in 2024, i.e., in two more years. If she gets the boot, she might no longer be able to hang with all those notorious Republicans she finds so funny.