Sinema speaks out: the delay in the vote on infrastructure is “inexcusable”

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US Senator Kyrsten Sinema hit back at Liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives on Saturday, saying it was “inexcusable and deeply disappointing for communities” across the country that the fate of the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was dollars is tied to their $ 3.5 trillion human safety net. measure.

The party’s left wing delayed the bipartisan infrastructure deal. Sinema, D-Arizona, helped negotiate. Their resistance came after Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., made it clear that they did not support the House’s sprawling and unfinished bill.

“The failure of the United States House to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable and deeply disappointing for communities in our country,” she said in a lengthy statement on Saturday. “Denying Americans millions of well-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity and better broadband only hurts everyday families.

The apparent deadlock has so far blocked the two bills. President Joe Biden spoke to House Democrats on Friday and attendees left the meeting appearing optimistic that a deal to pass a version of the House bill as well as the measure passed by the Senate was always possible.

For now, the Sinema infrastructure deal is in limbo after House progressives continued to tie the passage of its bill to the passage of a House bill outlining $ 3.5 trillion in “human infrastructure” and climate change mitigation.

Sinema had remained largely silent on the issue until Saturday.

“Denying Americans millions of well-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity and better broadband only hurts everyday families,” Sinema said in her statement.

She said Americans expect lawmakers to assess the legislation on its merits “rather than hampering new jobs and investment in critical infrastructure for no good reason.”

Efforts to tie the bills together “an ineffective blow”

Through this process, she said, other politicians have embarked on “an ineffective coup to leverage” for a separate proposal.

“My vote belongs to Arizona, and I don’t trade my vote for political favors – I vote only on what’s best for my state and the country,” she said. “I have never accepted and would never accept a deal that would hold one law hostage to another.”

Sinema said she continued bipartisan Senate infrastructure negotiations over the summer at Biden’s request. The package passed 69-30 in the Senate in August and would help reshape the country’s roads, water supply systems, bridges, transit systems and broadband access.

Budget issues:Senator Sinema says she shared her concerns with the White House, Schumer

“My commitment to producing lasting results is also the reason why I have engaged for months in direct and good faith negotiations on the proposal for separate budget reconciliation,” she said.

“Good faith negotiations, however, require trust. During that year, Democratic leaders made conflicting promises that not all could be kept – and sometimes claimed that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were clearly expressed repeatedly, directly and publicly.

“Canceling the vote on infrastructure further erodes that trust. More importantly, it betrays the trust the American people have placed in their elected leaders and denies our country critical investments to expand economic opportunities. “

With no vote scheduled in the Senate on Friday, Sinema returned to Phoenix. She continued negotiations with the White House on the measurement of human infrastructure and went to a medical appointment. She was due to attend a fundraiser for her political action committee on Saturday.

Bitter debate continues within the Democratic Party

The drama over the two proposals exposes divisions within the Democratic Party and tests the political limits of Biden’s political program. The president traveled to Capitol Hill on Friday to try to calm infighting between the moderate wing – which wanted an immediate vote on the physical infrastructure bill – and progressives.

“Things only happen here when there is an emergency,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Who is the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on Friday. “I’m so proud of our caucus because they stand up for people who feel like they haven’t been heard in this country for a very long time.”

Dozens of Democrats in the House were unwilling to further cut a $ 3.5 trillion plan that, among other things, would fund universal preschool, take new steps to mitigate climate change, and raise taxes for the rich.

There were more than enough Democratic refractories to derail a vote on Sinema’s bipartisan bill, forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., To delay a vote she had promised.

In the Senate, Sinema and Manchin made it clear that they could not support the $ 3.5 trillion bill proposed by the House.

Democrats need every member of their party to pass the bill using a special provision known as reconciliation.

Manchin told reporters he could not approve any measure exceeding $ 1.5 trillion. It was the first time he had publicly identified his financial results.

Sinema said Thursday that she also made it clear to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., in August that there were elements of the House bill that she would not support.

Responding to House progressives who accused Sinema of not formulating a vision and dollar amount for the package, her spokeswoman John LaBombard said she communicated her views to White House negotiators and to Schumer a few weeks ago.

“In August, she shared detailed concerns and priorities, including dollar numbers, directly with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and the White House,” he said. “Like our bipartisan infrastructure bill, the draft budget reconciliation regulation reflects a proposal by President Biden – and President Biden and his team, as well as Senator Schumer and his team, are fully aware of the priorities, the concerns and ideas from Senator Sinema. ”

The overturned vote doesn’t necessarily torpedo Sinema’s bill, but the continued insistence on tying him to the larger bill suggests Democrats may have reached a budget deadlock within their own party.

Another critical government deadline is looming: both houses must raise the government’s debt ceiling.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the government should be able to continue to meet all of its financial obligations until October 18.

The technical provision on debt payment could trigger a global financial crisis if the United States defaults on its obligations.

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