Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says her stance on taxes isn’t accurately portrayed
PHOENIX – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona says not to believe everything you read or hear about where she stands on tax policies as Democrats work out the details of their landmark domestic legislation package.
“Some of the reports that you’ve seen about rumors of which tax policies I support and which ones I don’t support aren’t entirely accurate,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show on Friday.
“But what I can promise you … is that I’m looking for policies, and will only support policies, that maintain and grow our economic competitiveness.”
Sinema, as one of two Democratic Senate holdouts, has been in the middle of negotiations to reduce the size of President Joe Biden’s proposed 10-year package of social services and climate change strategies and figure out how to pay for it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Friday that agreements have been reached on more than 90% of the Build Back Better agenda, which has been whittled from about $3.5 trillion to $2 trillion.
During a televised town hall Thursday night, Biden said Sinema “will not raise a single penny in taxes” on the wealthy or corporations, but a White House official later clarified that the president was referring to raising the top tax rates, not the range of tax proposals.
“The White House confirmed in a statement put out last night over the time that I’ve been directly negotiating with both the president and with leadership in the Senate, we have found common ground on a number of ideas to make our tax code more … efficient, and, this is important, to grow Arizona and America’s economic competitiveness,” Sinema said.
Arizona’s senior senator said she’ll continue her practice keeping negotiations behind closed doors, which might rub some the wrong way.
“Some of the noise you hear are from people in the media who don’t like that I’m not negotiating with them. But let’s be clear: They don’t have a vote,” she said.
“And so I am negotiating directly with my colleagues in the Senate and directly with the White House and President Biden in good faith.”
Sinema said she isn’t concerned about the negative buzz, including the resignation of five members of her veterans advisory council and the threat of censure from the Arizona Democratic Party, that’s been generated lately.
“I don’t pay much attention to social media and the talk of the town. I just stay focused and keep my head down and do the work,” she said.
“But I’m actually really pleased with the work that we’re moving forward on to try and find solutions that create effective smart policies for Arizonans and make a difference in the lives of the families and businesses throughout our state.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.