Sep 27, 2021
U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema faced blistering rebuke Monday following reports that the right-wing Arizona Democrat will solicit large campaign contributions from corporate lobbyists staunchly opposed to her party's flagship $3.5 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation package.
The New York Timesreports Sinema is scheduled to host a Tuesday fundraiser with five influential business lobby groups. According to the paper:
Under Ms. Sinema's political logo, the influential National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and the grocers' PAC, along with lobbyists for roofers and electrical contractors and a small business group called the S-Corp Political Action Committee, have invited association members to an undisclosed location on Tuesday afternoon for 45 minutes to write checks for between $1,000 and $5,800, payable to Sinema for Arizona.
These organizations vehemently oppose the Build Back Better bill, which Robert Yeakel, the director of government relations at the National Grocers Association, recently called a "laundry list of tax hikes."
Sinema also rejects the bill as proposed. Along with a small coterie of conservative Democrats including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, she has defied her party--and the wishes of a majority of U.S. voters--by rejecting the proposal's $3.5 trillion price tag.
"So Kyrsten Sinema is using the reconciliation fight to collect $5,800 checks from corporate PACs opposing the bill?" tweeted Sawyer Hackett, executive director of former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro's People First Future PAC.
"Each of these PACs overwhelmingly support[s] Republicans over Democrats," Hackett added.
Sinema and others also came under fire over the weekend for opposing tax hikes on corporations and the super-rich to finance Democrats' reconciliation package, with Demand Progress campaign director Robert Cruickshank accusing right-wing Democrats of "carrying water for big corporations and billionaires who don't want their taxes to go up."
As Sinema gets ready to collect checks from opponents of the Build Back Better bill, House Democrats are preparing to pass the sweeping social welfare, infrastructure, and climate measure later this week. House progressives are threatening to block bipartisan infrastructure legislation unless conservative Democrats support the full $3.5 trillion proposal.
"So Kyrsten Sinema is using the reconciliation fight to collect $5,800 checks from corporate PACs opposing the bill?"
--Sawyer Hackett, People First Future
On Saturday, The Daily Beastreported that the Arizona Democratic Party passed a resolution vowing that if Sinema "continues to delay, disrupt, or vote to gut the reconciliation package of its necessary funding" and keeps opposing filibuster reform, it will "go officially on record and will give Sen. Sinema a vote of no confidence."
Democratic organizer Kai Newkirk told The Daily Beast that "the Arizonans who did the work to elect Sinema have had enough of her betraying the voters who put her in office. It's time for her to show the bare minimum of accountability and stop obstructing the agenda that Democrats, including her, campaigned on and were elected to deliver."
"Sinema is setting her political future on fire," Newkirk added. "If she doesn't change course drastically and soon, it will be too late."
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