Kyrsten Sinema Blocks Democrats’ Plan To Spend $3.5 Trillion On Infrastructure, Setting Up Major Cuts

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on Wednesday came out in opposition to Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill, which may force her party to make substantial cuts in order for it to pass.

In a statement to The Arizona Republic, Sinema said while she supported certain elements of the bloated infrastructure plan, she believed the bill was too large.

“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,” she said.

Sinema’s opposition will likely letdown many other Senate Democrats, who ultimately agreed on a $3.5 trillion spending plan earlier this month. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, had pushed for a much larger spending proposal but later settled on $3.5 trillion. Earlier on July 28, hopes for the bill were raised for the left as key Republican senators reached an agreement with the White House.

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., also wants to advance the process on the budget reconciliation package, according to a statement he made to The Arizona Republic. He did not commit specifically supporting to the top-line $3.5 trillion price tag. 

“A lot of work remains to continue rebuilding and growing our economy, which is why I want to see us move forward with this budget process,” Kelly said. “I look forward to continuing to work on the details to make sure we create more good-paying jobs and get Arizonans the skills they need to work them.”

Sinema’s position on the price tag drew swift condemnation from progressive House Democrats, many of whom were already incensed with her stance on maintaining the legislative filibuster, which has stopped much of their radical agenda from being rammed through.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted to her 12.7 million followers: “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin.” 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. meanwhile, accused Sinema of not caring about aging infrastructure as well as a favorite boogeyman of the Left, climate change.

“Sinema seems not to care that her own state is flooding, the west is burning, and infrastructure around the country is crumbling. Sinema is more interested in gaining GOP friends and blocking much needed resources, than fighting for her residents’ future.” Tlaib wrote on Twitter.

Sinema’s position on the budget reconciliation bill came on the same day she and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced progress on a separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan public works infrastructure plan.