Earlier today, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), as she’s prone to do, blew up the Democrat plan to shove through their progressive wishlist via the reconciliation process. She proclaimed that the $3.5 trillion dollar boondoggle was a non-starter, though, she didn’t rule out negotiating something smaller down the road.
This came after Chuck Schumer announced this morning that he would not put through a bipartisan infrastructure deal that didn’t include a bunch of “climate change” provisions that Sen. Joe Manchin and others objected to, adding more chaos to the situation.
Majority Leader @SenSchumer: “I will not pass an infrastructure package that does not reduce carbon pollution at a scale commensurate with the urgency of the climate crisis we face.” pic.twitter.com/qg5peJoSGL
— The Recount (@therecount) July 28, 2021
Sinema apparently didn’t take too kindly to such a bad-faith move to blow up the work she and others had put in on the bipartisan deal, likely leading to her statement on reconciliation this afternoon.
Where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us with nothing passing, if things don’t change, and that’s just fine with most Republicans not named Mitt Romney or Lisa Murkowski. But it’s not fine with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who lashed out at Sinema on Twitter in typical fashion.
Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin – especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a “bipartisan accomplishment.” 👍🏽👍🏽 https://t.co/0VF8Z73vAa
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 28, 2021
If someone can figure out a way to inject this infighting directly into my veins, that’d be great.
What’s so funny about this is that AOC has no influence or pull here. She’s literally the old man yelling at clouds right now. Yes, her online fans will clap like seals and say “yas queen” in the replies, but I’m fairly certain there’s no one’s opinion that Sinema cares less about in Washington than AOC. As I’ve detailed before, the Arizona senator has only seen her popularity rise in her home state, including among Republicans, all but ensuring she’s reelected when the time comes.
In regards to the charge of racism by AOC, that’s ridiculous. Sinema did not “exclude” any “members of color.” There are only two black Democrat senators, and I believe at least one of them is currently working on police reform. Both those senators are also wildly left-wing, which excludes them from a moderate, bipartisan negotiation like the one Sinema has helped lead. But crying racism is the way of the world for a large part of the Democrat Party.
Besides, AOC’s tough girl act falls completely flat. The infrastructure deal wasn’t going to pass the House anyway given that Pelosi has already said she won’t take it up. Further, Sinema is holding all the cards. No reconciliation bill can pass without her support, and that reconciliation bill is far more valuable to Democrats than any bipartisan bill is to Republicans or Sinema. AOC’s vote in the House is meaningless while Sinema’s vote in the Senate is decisive on all these issues.
Regardless, as an onlooker from the sidelines, watching the Democrat coalition falter is excellent entertainment. An alliance between moderates like Sinema and radicals like AOC could never sustain itself for long, and the more her colleagues attack her, the more Sinema will buckle down. She knows what her state wants, and it’s not what some overhyped, deep-blue district Democrat from Queens wants.