Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), an out bisexual woman, has been one of the main obstacles to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan and other progressive priorities like landmark LGBTQ civil rights legislation.
Now the grandstanding politician is claiming credit for Biden’s infrastructure bill despite putting it all in jeopardy repeatedly – and using it to justify her refusal to talk to constituents or the media about why she’s arbitrarily trying to tank Democratic priorities.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held up passage of the infrastructure bill as progressives pressured Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to get on board with the Build Back Better legislation. Progressive legislators wanted to pass both at the same time.
When the House decided to pass the infrastructure bill without Senate support for the Build Back Better plan, the White House gave Sinema a speaking slot at the signing ceremony for her role in negotiating the passage of the bill. Biden gave Sinema a backhanded compliment before his public remarks, calling her “the most determined woman I know.”
The move played to her ego and now she’s touting her own importance and the internet isn’t having it.
“President Biden signed our historic, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law! This is what it looks like when elected leaders set aside differences, shut out the noise, and focus on delivering results on the issues that matter most to everyday Americans,” she tweeted after the ceremony.
She also retweeted an article from local media that touts the bill as “Sinema-led.” The bill passed with bipartisan support after Sinema insisted on watering down the bill to get her vote. Sinema worked with the GOP to make it more appealing to Republicans, but the vast majority still voted against it.
Sinema has complained repeatedly about the need for bipartisanship in a Congress helplessly mired in partisan politics that have stymied reforms and critical legislation. D.C. rumors indicate that she also opposes prescription drug price controls included in the plan after pressure from her donors in the pharmaceutical industry.
Republicans – including those who voted for the infrastructure bill – have vowed not to support the legislation, meaning it will not get bipartisan support.
Sinema and Manchin, a notoriously vain conservative, have held up Biden’s domestic agenda for months by refusing to kill the filibuster, a procedural maneuver historically used to prevent the passage of civil rights legislation.
It is a relic of Jim Crow and is currently being used to stop voting reform, raising the minimum wage, and landmark LGBTQ civil rights legislation like the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in federal law.
The measure requires 60 votes instead of the usual 50 to get a bill passed. With the Senate equally divided 50-50, it effectively means that any bill requires the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass. The GOP has been united in opposing any legislation supported by Democrats and refused to support Biden’s agenda.
Without the opportunity to filibuster, 50 Democrats could vote in favor of a bill and Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, would break the tie.
When LGBTQ activists and donors pointedly issued an ultimatum demanding Sinema get on board or lose support from the community, the senator published an op-ed in the Washington Post defending her decision to scuttle bills that tackled issues she campaigned on. By refusing to remove the filibuster, Sinema has essentially doomed what she claims are her own priorities.
Twitter quickly reacted to Sinema’s grandstanding – and users weren’t kind.
You proactively watered down a greater law into a fraction of what it could have been for personal gain.
— White Robed Judge (@GigglesNschitt) November 16, 2021
Are you seriously celebrating this bill when you did everything you could to stop, stall and help the wealthy?
— Democracywins (@MizMiathanksyou) November 16, 2021
Then why do you fight him most of the time with your buddy from West VA?
— andy johnson (@rockmarne) November 16, 2021
The climate provisions in BIF only unlock if BBB passes and Sinema already gutted most of the climate provisions in BBB… pic.twitter.com/4TDXvYpLx9
— Josh Leon (@gaptoothdbitch) November 16, 2021
What matters most to everyday Americans is trying to afford their medications.
It's a shame you're so focused on forcing them to over pay.
— Mike O (@MikeOandY) November 16, 2021
by "shut out the noise" do you mean how you shut out your constituents and lined your pockets? pic.twitter.com/LHPzqTwrCq
— LinsayintheHam (@LJEintheHam) November 16, 2021