“I have also made clear that while I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation with my colleagues and the administration to strengthen Arizona’s economy and help Arizona’s everyday families get ahead,” Sinema told the Arizona Republic.
The other bad news is that Sinema’s nonspecific objections just might manage to blow up both the jobs and the infrastructure bills—the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package and the $1.2 trillion bipartisan deal that she helped negotiate. (In an initial procedural vote on the bipartisan bill late Wednesday, Senators voted 67-32 to advance the bill, with 17 Republicans and all 50 Democrats all voting yes. But both bills are a long way from a done deal.)
Based on the swift blowback to Sinema’s sudden slam on the larger Democrats-only package, it seems the Arizona senator blindsided the liberal wing of the party and, guess what? The votes of those Democratic lawmakers are a pretty critical ingredient to the fate of her own bill, especially in the House.
“Without a reconciliation package that meets this moment, I’m a no on this bipartisan deal,” Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York bluntly stated in a tweet.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York added, “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin.”
Some Democratic senators likely weren’t impressed either. Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein tweeted, “Talked just this morning to a Dem Senator who said he was supporting the bipartisan infrastructure deal w/ the understanding it was a precondition for Sinema/Manchin support for the $3.5 trillion Dem package.”
Right, so no Dem-only package = no bipartisan/Sinema bill. Man, blowing up everything for a living is nice work if you can get it.
Unfortunately for Sinema, her apparent power trip is wearing thinner with fellow Democrats by the day.
That includes her fellow lawmakers as well as voters, who seem like people she might want to pay attention to if she wants to keep her elevated political platform.
According to Civiqs tracking, Sinema’s favorable rating among all registered voters is 24 points underwater, 24% – 48%. But among Democratic voters, she is really sucking wind, at 23% – 55%.
In stark contrast, the favorables of Arizona’s other Democratic Senator, Mark Kelly, among Democratic voters are 85 points above water, 89% – 4%.
Sinema’s polling numbers among the broader electorate in Arizona have been a bit erratic in different outlets, but one thing is consistent—she’s not winning over Democratic voters. A recent Data for Progress survey, for instance, put Sinema’s favorables with Democrats slightly above water at 42% – 39%, while Kelly’s clocked in at 77% – 17%.
In the case of both Civiqs and Data for Progress surveys, Kelly is polling closer to what one would expect among voters of one’s own party, while Sinema’s numbers are notably abysmal.
Even Sinema’s longtime Arizona colleague, Rep. Ruben Gallego, seems to be souring on her a bit. When Gallego spoke to Daily Kos’ The Brief several weeks ago, he struck a fairly diplomatic tone when it came to Sinema, calling her a “good Democrat” and saying he truly believed she would get to the right place on something like voting rights.
But this week, Gallego retweeted footage of a major #EndTheFilibuster protest at Sinema’s state office led by Rev. Dr. William Barber.
“The filibuster is being used by Republican Senators to stop HR4 and SR1 (sic),” tweeted Gallego, “It is time to end the filibuster and pass necessary voting reforms.”
In short, Sinema’s had a pretty big week alienating Democrats of all stripes as Senate Republicans continue to lavish her with praise. That’s not exactly where a Democratic senator wants to be—even if she’s not up for reelection until 2024.