An Arizona Senator is holding firm on her commitment to vote against a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill pushed by her more progressive colleagues.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) remains opposed to the deal, despite intense pressure from the far-left elements of the Democrat Party.
Instead, she has introduced her own infrastructure bill, which would spend $550 billion, and which her office describes as a “historic win for our nation’s everyday families and employers and, like every proposal, should be considered on its own merits.”
“Proceedings in the U.S. House will have no impact on Kyrsten’s views about what is best for our country – including the fact that she will not support a budget reconciliation bill that costs $3.5 trillion,” Sinema spokesman Jake LaBombard said.
The affirmation comes as progressive Democrats in the House try to kill Sinema’s bill in order to convince her to vote for theirs.
Still, the $550 billion infrastructure deal, called the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” is featured on the White House’s website, and apparently endorsed by President Joe Biden.
There, it is described as a “once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure” that will bolster “America’s roads and bridges, water infrastructure, resilience, internet, and more.”
“President Biden believes that we must invest in our country and in our people by creating good-paying union jobs, tackling the climate crisis, and growing the economy sustainably and equitably for decades to come,” the White House website says. “The bipartisan legislation will deliver progress towards those objectives for working families across the country.”
Sinema, a Democrat Senator in a traditionally Republican state, has often been a thorn in the side of the more left-wing faction of her party, along with her similarly-positioned colleague Joe Manchin (D-WV).
The pair has held up numerous progressive agenda items, including abolishing the filibuster, which has led to tension within the party.
Democrats control the House, and technically control the Senate which is split 50-50, as Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.
But Manchin and Sinema know that voting too far left could have consequences for them come reelection time.
Manchin, too, is pushing the more moderate $550 billion infrastructure proposal.
“It would send a terrible message to the American people if this bipartisan bill is held hostage,” he reportedly said. “I urge my colleagues in the House to move swiftly to get this once in a generation legislation to the President’s desk for his signature.”
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