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U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has competed in three triathlons and regularly pushes through muscle pain and fatigue during the spin cycle classes she teaches on Capitol Hill. But the Arizona Democrat is now facing a different type of grueling test: whether she will buck the progressive wing of her party and stand by her vow to uphold the Senate filibuster even if it imperils top Democratic priorities she supports.

On March 11, 2021, Joe Biden signed into law a measure that was his top priority even before he took office: a $1.9 trillion spending bill to ease the year-long financial upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” said the new president, “and giving people in this nation, working people, middle-class folks, the people who built this country, a fighting chance.”

After the bitterly contested 2000 presidential election recount ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court – thanks to Florida’s “hanging chads,” confusing butterfly ballots, and partisan chaos in the state’s courts – Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the Help America Vote Act.