In CNN interview, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won’t tip hand on $2T domestic bill

Dec 3, 2021, 1:15 PM
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., runs from the Senate chamber after voting on an appropriations bill t...

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., runs from the Senate chamber after voting on an appropriations bill that funds the government through Feb. 18 and avoids a short-term shutdown after midnight Friday, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

PHOENIX – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wouldn’t commit to supporting her party’s $2 trillion domestic agenda during a sit-down interview with CNN on Thursday, but she didn’t provide specifics on how to secure her vote.

“Folks know I don’t negotiate in the press, so I’m not going to do that with you,” the first-term Democrat from Arizona replied after CNN’s Lauren Fox asked what she wanted to change in the Build Back Better legislation passed by the House last month.

With no sign of support from any Republicans, all 50 of the majority Democratic party’s senators have to vote yes to send the plan to boost social and education programs and global warming protections to President Joe Biden’s desk.

However, Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a fellow moderate Democrat, have been reluctant to sign off on the House version.

The inclusion of a corporate tax increase appears to be a sticking point for Sinema.

“People back home in Arizona know that I am committed to ensuring that any legislation that we pass retains America’s competitiveness, so I won’t support any legislation that increases burdens on Arizona or American businesses and reduces our ability to compete either domestically or globally,” she said.

“And so I want to make sure that if we are crafting legislation, we’re doing it in a lean and efficient way that’s fiscally responsible and doesn’t impact things like inflation or make our businesses less competitive.”

Sinema said her position reflects what her constituents want, regardless of pressure from elements in the party that think she’s keeping other Democrats from fulfilling campaign promises.

“When I ran for the United States Senate in 2018, I told the folks in Arizona what I would do, that I would come to the Senate, try to find bipartisan solutions, be an independent voice for Arizona and always put everyday people in Arizona first,” she said.

“I would say that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

According to recent polling by Phoenix research firm OH Predictive Insights, 45% of all Arizona voters had a favorable view of the job Sinema has been doing, but only 26% of Democrats wanted to see her reelected.

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In CNN interview, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won’t tip hand on $2T domestic bill