In the early 2000s, U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) was an unabashed leftist. These days, she hobnobs as much with Republicans on Capitol Hill as she does Democrats – and votes with Trump more than 50% of the time.
Now, the red-state politician is promising she would derail her party’s far-left agenda if Democrats return to power next year.
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) October 29, 2019
Per Hot Air:
Philip Klein grasped the significance of that immediately. There are two key questions being asked of the progressive lions, Bernie and Warren, in the Democratic primary this year. One: How will you pay for your agenda? They’ll, uh, get back to you on that. Two: How will you pass your agenda? After all, so long as the filibuster remains in place, a new Democratic president would need 60 votes in the Senate to get Medicare for All or free college tuition through Congress. And no matter how badly Republicans do next fall, they’ll have far more than the 41 votes they need to block any legislation in the event that Schumer ends up in charge of the Senate.
Bernie has been fidgety about ending the filibuster, grumbling back in February that he was reluctant to see it happen, but the simple reality is that he can’t implement socialist programs without getting rid of it. He’s begun to come around. Warren, on the other hand, has accepted it as a cost of doing progressive business from the beginning. She called for nuking it months ago. If she gets elected in 2020, it’ll be job one for the Senate.
The nice thing for Warren and Schumer is that it doesn’t take 60 votes to change the rules and end the filibuster. It only takes 51. That’s how Harry Reid was able to nuke the filibuster for non-SCOTUS executive nominees in 2013 and how McConnell was able to nuke it for Supreme Court nominees four years later. All you need is a simple majority to get rid of it. And it’s quite possible that Schumer will have that majority soon: The GOP is already speculating about a “nightmare scenario” next fall in which Trump, weakened by scandal, drags Republicans on the ballot down with him. It’s easy to envision the GOP losing five seats, with Susan Collins, Martha McSally, and Joni Ernst all being outraised by their challengers last quarter and Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis facing very tough purple-state races. Worse, Trump is raking in so much dough with the RNC that it may be cutting into the amount of cash available from donors for Collins and the rest.
Long story short, it’s perfectly possible that the Senate will land at 50/50 with Warren as president-elect. In that scenario, Democrats would theoretically have the votes to nuke the filibuster, with Warren’s VP providing the tiebreaking vote.