Book: Egocentric Sinema Is Keen To Cash In On Her Senate Infamy

@crgibs
Kyrsten Sinema

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who has been a thorn in the side of both President Joe Biden and the Senate Democratic Caucus, is already eyeing a potentially lucrative private sector career if her bid to stay in the US Senate is unsuccessful.

In Atlantic staff writer McKay Coppins' new biography of outgoing Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Sinema — an independent who caucuses with Democrats (although she left the Democratic Party in 2022) — apparently confided to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee that she's apathetic about staying in Washington for another six-year term. Arizona's senior US senator added that she feels she unilaterally "saved" the upper chamber of Congress by bucking' Democrats' efforts to eliminate the filibuster.

"I don’t care. I can go on any board I want to. I can be a college president. I can do anything,” she told Romney. “I saved the Senate filibuster by myself. I saved the Senate by myself. That’s good enough for me."

As the New Republicnoted, the filibuster isn't actually a tradition in the Senate, nor is it even mentioned in the US Constitution. Former President Barack Obama once called it a "Jim Crow relic." Sinema's colleague, Senator Angus King (I-ME), has called for it to be reformed by requiring those who use it to actually hold the Senate floor in what's known as a "talking filibuster."

"[I]nstead of having to have 60 votes to pass something, you'd have to have 41 votes to stop it. That way, the minority would at least have to show up," Sen. King said of the filibuster in 2021, when it was used to stop voting rights legislation. "So we've got to do something about this, at least when it comes to something as crucial as democracy itself, as voting rights."

The New Republic's Jason Linkins wrote last weekend that Sinema's obstinacy in getting rid of the filibuster has led to Democrats being unable to pass significant legislative reforms — not only in the arena of voting rights, but in an assortment of other social programs included in Biden's Build Back Better Act that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sinema ultimately watered down and killed. Sinema was also a key opposition vote in Democrats' unsuccessful attempt to keep the expanded child tax credit.

"Her steadfast opposition to taxing corporations and the wealthy cut off the one funding mechanism that Manchin was willing to countenance to keep it running," Linkins wrote.

Sinema is currently running as an independent in the 2024 US Senate race against both presumptive Republican nominee Kari Lake and presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona). An early October poll showed Lake in front, with 37 percent of respondents saying they would vote for her next November. Gallego was second, with 33 percent, while Sinema came in third with just 19 percent support.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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