Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Sen. Mark Kelly Says He Will Support Changes to Filibuster Rules for Voting-Rights Legislation

Posted By on Wed, Jan 19, 2022 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Sen. Mark Kelly: "As an astronaut and a combat veteran, I can tell you that if NASA or the Navy functioned like the United States Senate, we would never get the rocket off the launchpad and in combat we’d never complete the mission." - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIA HURTADO/MARK KELLY FOR SENATE
Photo courtesy of Maria Hurtado/Mark Kelly for Senate
Sen. Mark Kelly: "As an astronaut and a combat veteran, I can tell you that if NASA or the Navy functioned like the United States Senate, we would never get the rocket off the launchpad and in combat we’d never complete the mission."

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly announced today that he supports changing the Senate's filibuster rules to pass changes to federal law to protect election rights.

Last week, his fellow Arizona senator, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, said she would not support such a change to the filibuster rules. She and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia are facing political pressure to support the changes and allow the legislation to pass by a simple majority vote, but as long as they hold firm, the legislation is unlikely to reach President Joe Biden's desk.

Kelly's full statement:

My year in the Senate has shown me how dysfunctional this place can be, and how that prevents progress on issues that matter to Arizonans. We’re seeing that now, as voting rights legislation remains blocked while partisan politicians work to undermine Arizona’s successful vote-by-mail system and create more barriers to vote.

As an astronaut and a combat veteran, I can tell you that if NASA or the Navy functioned like the United States Senate, we would never get the rocket off the launchpad and in combat we’d never complete the mission. Arizonans deserve a Senate that is more responsive to the challenges facing our country, which is why I’ve spoken with Arizonans and my Republican and Democratic colleagues about their views on what can be done to make this place work better. I’ve considered what rules changes would mean not just today, but years down the road, for both parties and all Arizonans.

If campaign finance and voting rights reforms are blocked again this week, I will support the proposed changes to pass them with a majority vote. Protecting the vote-by-mail system used by a majority of Arizonans and getting dark money out of our elections is too important to let fall victim to Washington dysfunction.

Whether the Senate fails or succeeds in passing this legislation, I will continue doing this job just as I promised Arizonans: delivering results by working with Republicans and Democrats to find common ground as we have on infrastructure, standing up to party politics, and staying focused on doing what is best for Arizona.

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