Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) remains on shaky political ground amid her blockade of a key element of the Democratic agenda. She has announced and stood by her opposition to the price of a $3.5 trillion spending package being pushed by Democratic leaders, leaving Democrats without an immediately clear path forward, even as negotiations continue. If enacted, that spending package would provide federal financial support for what’s been termed “human infrastructure,” meaning social support programs like child care and care for elders. At a fundraiser for Sinema held at an Arizona resort over the weekend, protesters “disrupted” the proceedings, journalist Lauren Windsor reported.
Check out footage of the protesters targeting Sinema below:
“Build Back Better, back the bill! …Undocumented, unafraid!”
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) October 3, 2021
As Windsor reported, the protesters were associated with LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona). LUCHA describes itself on its website as “committed to human dignity, inclusion, equity, and collective growth,” adding that they “work to reclaim our shared power alongside our families and community.” LUCHA shared their own footage of the protest, adding that Sinema “ran out the back.”
Admist negotiations over reconciliation that provides millions of ppl relief & a path to citizenship @SenatorSinema ditches congress for a fancy resort fundraiser & plots w/donors to take down the Biden agenda. Confronted by constituents & DACA recipients she ran out the back. pic.twitter.com/82inr6jOh1
— LUCHA Arizona (@LUCHA_AZ) October 3, 2021
Besides Sinema’s opposition to the spending plan, she has also consistently supported the continuance of the filibuster in the Senate, despite its potentially disastrous ramifications for the near future of democracy in the United States. The Senate’s filibuster rules demand the agreement of at least 60 Senators in the 100-member chamber before moving forward, including to a final vote, on most legislation, meaning that most successful bills have to be at least nominally bipartisan — but is Mitch McConnell really someone to count on for bipartisanship? Obviously not.
As such, Sinema’s support of the filibuster entails de facto support for the supposed right of McConnell and his cronies to obstruct the legislative work undertaken by a majority in the Senate. That’s not democracy — it’s the rule of the special interests. A process called budget reconciliation allows for the passage of certain budget-related bills in the Senate with a simple majority of the chamber’s votes — and that’s the process that Democrats are targeting for the $3.5 trillion spending plan — but “budget reconciliation” doesn’t cover critical issues like voting rights. Sinema is willing to support voting rights legislation, but she remains unwilling to undertake the procedural step (changing the Senate’s filibuster rules) required to actually get that important legislation passed.