First-term Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, has come out in opposition of her party’s plans for a $3.5 trillion, party-line spending bill, and said she will not negotiate on it.
House Democrat leaders are holding back the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill in order to push Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to support the multitrillion-dollar spending bill, Politico reported.
The $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill “is a historic win for our nation’s everyday families and employers and, like every proposal, should be considered on its own merits,” said Sen. Sinema spokesperson John LaBombard. “Proceedings in the U.S. House will have no impact on Kyrsten’s views about what is best for our country —including the fact that she will not support a budget reconciliation bill that costs $3.5 trillion.”
The Senator’s firm opposition to the higher spending bill is upsetting progressives in her party, NPR reports.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in a tweet accused Sinema of “tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure” and of “choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations.”
Sinema’s vote is crucial in a Senate divided 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. The moderate Arizona Senator a proponent of bipartisanship.
Sinema and Manchin both helped pass the Democrats’ budget earlier this month, but both are against a social spending package that ultimately meets its $3.5 trillion top-line mark.
That spending goal was devised by Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Senate Democrats need all 50 of their members, including Manchin and Sinema, to pass a filibuster-proof reconciliation spending bill.
On Sunday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her members still want a bill that costs $3.5 trillion, but are hoping to fully finance it with tax enforcement and tax increases on the wealthy and corporations. Moderates in Pelosi’s caucus are declining to back the Senate-passed budget unless Pelosi puts Sinema’s Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill up for a vote on the House floor, Politico reported.