Former Arizona Gov. Brewer praises Sen. Sinema for moderate stance
PHOENIX — The moderate stance of Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on recent legislation is drawing praise from an unlikely source – previous foe and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
“This is really hard for me to say but she has been moderate and she has stood up for Arizona,” Brewer told Gaydos & Chad on Wednesday. “It is absolutely refreshing that she is looking at things and making what I believe are reasonable decisions.”
Sinema has said she is against a raise to the federal minimum wage being part of the next COVID-19 relief package and is one of six other moderate Democrats and seven Republicans to sign an amendment barring “upper-income taxpayers” from being eligible to receive stimulus checks.
She is also drawing displeasure from progressives for refusing to support eliminating the 60-vote threshold for approving most legislation.
Sinema is one of two Democratic senators from Arizona, Mark Kelly who beat incumbent Republican Martha McSally in the 2020 election being the other, marking the first time the state sent two Democratic senators to Washington D.C. in almost 70 years.
This, along with the flipped senate seats from Georgia, gave President Joe Biden and Democrats control of both chambers of Congress through a split Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaker.
The split Senate, however, gives moderates like Sinema significant political clout.
“She is powerful because of the numbers they are dealing with there,” Brewer noted.
“It’s not easy sometimes to walk down the middle of the road, you get hit from both sides.”
Brewer said the more-moderate Sinema is different than what she saw when they both served at the state Capitol in Phoenix from 2009 to 2012, Sinema at that time a member of the Arizona House of Representatives and later the state senate.
“This girl changed tremendously if this continues,” Brewer said. “This is not the person that we all knew when she was in the Arizona Legislature, I guarantee that.”
During that time, suffice to say the Republican Brewer and Democrat Sinema didn’t see eye-to-eye.
“She was crazy, with all due respect,” Brewer laughed.
Yet Brewer said it’s been a great relief that Sinema may actually be a moderate.
“I’ll give her credit, she said she was going to be a moderate,” Brewer said. “I didn’t believe her.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.