Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) spent most of 2021 pretending to be a Democrat while doing her best to sabotage President Biden’s agenda.
Sinema refused to support any change to the Senate filibuster, despite the fact that Republicans use it to kill any legislation they dislike. That includes the Equality Act, the LGBTQ nondiscrimination measure that out bisexual Sinema simultaneously co-sponsored and helped kill.
But Sinema’s biggest betrayal was her refusal to support any version of the president’s Build Back Better package on the grounds that – well, it’s not exactly clear on what grounds. Perhaps because the bill would have harmed her newfound friends, the fat cat lobbyists and Republicans pouring money into her campaign coffers.
Now Sinema is reassuring the same interest groups that she’ll keep up her obstructionist tactics to damage the president heading into the midterm elections.
At an Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry luncheon at a luxury resort in Phoenix, Sinema reassured the attendees that she’s got their backs if Democrats try to take up popular measures like raising taxes on the rich and corporations.
“What I can’t tell you is if negotiations will start again or what they’ll look like,” Sinema told the group. “But what I can promise you is that I’ll be the same person in negotiations if they start again that I was in negotiations last year.”
In case the group was wondering just who that person was, Sinema made a point to tell them.
“You all know, the entire country knows, that I’m opposed to raising the corporate minimum tax rate,” she said. She also said she would oppose “any tax policies that would put a brake on any type of economic growth or forestall business and personal growth for America’s industries.”
In short, Sinema is there to protect the Trump tax cuts, the biggest upward redistribution of wealth in America history. Sinema actually voted against these tax breaks, but now Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is counting on Sinema to be his ally in the fight to keep them in place.
At this stage of the game, nothing Sinema says should come as a surprise. A onetime Green Party member, Sinema is calling for the US to step up oil drilling in response to rising gas prices. That’s hardly an environmentally friendly position; moreover, increased drilling will do nothing to ease the current situation since it will take so long for new drilling to actually lead to production and market.
The question is, why does Sinema act like this? The answer is, follow the money. Sinema raised $1.6 million in campaign contributions in the first quarter of the year. Among her donors: JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and a number of his fellow bank executives. You can’t get any more fat cat than that.