OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has thrown a wrench in her own party’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan.
A group of bipartisan senators on Wednesday reached an agreement on the $1.2 trillion hard infrastructure bill.
With the Senate currently tied at 50-50, Democrats are attempting to ram through the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill through budget reconciliation, which would allow them to avoid the 60-vote threshold to hold a debate in the Senate.
Sinema voted in favor of advancing debate on the bill but has made it quite clear she does not and will not support voting for the $3.5 trillion measure.
“I have also made clear that while I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s everyday families get ahead,” Sinema said in a written statement.
Sinema’s comments on the overall budget bill strongly suggest that Democrats won’t even be able to get 50 votes to pass their more expansive plan, which is the $3.5 trillion measure.
It didn’t take long for members of the socialist “Squad” to attack Sinema on Twitter.
New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin.”
Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin – especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a “bipartisan accomplishment.” 👍🏽👍🏽 https://t.co/0VF8Z73vAa
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 28, 2021
“Sinema seems not to care that her own state is flooding, the west is burning, and infrastructure around the country is crumbling. Sinema is more interested in gaining GOP friends and blocking much-needed resources, than fighting for her residents’ future,” Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib wrote on Twitter.
Sinema seems not to care that her own state is flooding, the west is burning, and infrastructure around the country is crumbling. Sinema is more interested in gaining GOP friends and blocking much needed resources, than fighting for her residents' future. https://t.co/TfSc0uoY1j pic.twitter.com/nTFC2lizfK
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 28, 2021
Sinema has been a thorn in the Democrats’ side for quite some time.
The Arizona Democrat has remained clear about one thing: she is not going to support ending the Senate filibuster.
Sinema again defended the Senate filibuster recently and said it “protects the democracy of our nation.”
“As folks in Arizona know, I’ve long been a supporter of the filibuster because it is a tool that protects the democracy of our nation, rather than allowing our country to ricochet wildly every two to four years back and forth between policies,” Sinema said.
The Senate filibuster is a rule that requires 60 members to end debate on most topics and move to a vote.
The Senate is currently tied at 50-50, but Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the tie-breaking vote and give Democrats the majority.
Democrats want to end the filibuster so they can ram through several of their radical policies, but they can’t afford a single Democrat to vote against them.
They need all 50 of their votes, which is why Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin and Sinema have become such a critical figures.