The pro-abortion group EMILY’s List threatened to cease endorsing Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema if she continues to support the filibuster.
EMILY’s List, which endorses and finances Democratic female candidates who support legalized abortion, endorsed Sinema during her Senate run in 2018 and contributed $9,500 to her campaign. The group has raised money for Sinema in all four of her previous election cycles. She will next face Arizona voters in 2024.
“Sen. 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,” EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler said in a statement released Tuesday. “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.”
— EMILY’s List (@emilyslist) January 18, 2022
Sinema has repeatedly made clear that she does not support making changes to the filibuster without Republican support. In a Jan. 13 floor speech, Sinema explained that she would oppose “actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country.” (RELATED: ‘Profoundly Unpresidential’: McConnell’s Fiery Floor Speech About Biden Has Everyone’s Attention)
“Tensions are raised within the country, and traditional nonpartisan issues are transformed into partisan wedges. We must address the disease itself, the disease of division, to protect our democracy. And it cannot be achieved by one party alone. It cannot be achieved solely by the federal government,” she said.
Fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have compared Sinema and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin with segregationists for their refusal to change Senate rules to pass two bills that would effectively nationalize elections.
“History has never been kind to those who’ve sided with voter suppression over voters’ rights, and it will be even less kind for those who side with election subversion,” Biden said during a Jan. 11 speech in which he name-checked Alabama Gov. George Wallace, Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor, and President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis.
Although EMILY’s List exclusively supports Democrats, its threat to Sinema is not the first time the group has inserted itself into a fight between the moderate and left wings of the party. It claimed victory in 2020 when Marie Newman, who was also endorsed by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Democrats, defeated pro-life Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski in a brutal primary. EMILY’s List has also repeatedly endorsed a challenger to Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, who was the only Democrat in the House to vote against a bill that would legalize abortion at all points in a woman’s pregnancy.
Sinema supports legalized abortion, and has a lifetime “F” rating from the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.