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New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for a fellow Democrat, Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema, to be primaried when the senator next faces re-election in 2024.
Ocasio-Cortez called the leaked Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade a “disaster” on social media. The congresswoman went on to demand Republicans and “Dem obstructionists” be held accountable for not voting along party lines to dismantle the filibuster earlier this year. Her criticism came after Sinema released a statement defending her voting record and standing by her decision to support the filibuster.
“We could protect Roe tomorrow, but Sinema refuses to act on the filibuster,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Until that changes she can take a seat talking about ‘women’s access to health care.'”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and members of the group of left-wing congresswomen known as the “Squad” are urging their colleagues to pass a bill that would codify Roe v. Wade and reestablish a federal right to abortion. Since Democrats have a slim majority, some of them state that they must abolish the filibuster to make sure such a bill can go through.
Sinema has been a vocal protector of the filibuster.
Ocasio-Cortex continued, “Hold everyone contributing to this disaster accountable, GOP & Dem obstructionists included. She should be primaried.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s criticisms were in response to a statement released earlier Tuesday in which Sinema claimed a long history of supporting abortion rights and denounced the draft opinion leaked Monday.
“A woman’s healthcare choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor,” Sinema said in her original statement. “Overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across America.
Sinema went on to defend her support for the filibuster, citing it as a key protection for women’s health legislation in multiple votes in the last decade.
“Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever,” Sinema wrote.
If the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade as is now expected, abortion will no longer be considered a constitutional right. While this would not in itself make abortion illegal, it would allow individual states to ban the practice through legislation.
Vice President Harris supports changing the filibuster practice in the Senate in order to limit the ability of the minority party to easily block legislation, her office confirmed to Fox News Wednesday.
Harris’ office said that the vice president is aligned with President Biden on the issue of the filibuster. Biden told ABC Tuesday that he supports a move to a “talking filibuster,” which requires opposing senators to constantly speak on the Senate floor in order to block a final vote on a bill.
“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Biden told ABC. “You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking.”