Sen.Kyrsten Sinema says she doesn’t intend to switch up her Build Back Better demands.She says she’ll be “the same person” if Democrats try to revive their stalled agenda.Sinema may be trying to separate herself from another holdout: Joe Manchin.Sign up for our weekday newsletter, packed with original analysis, news, and trends — delivered right to your inbox.Sen.Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has a message for Democrats who fear she might move the goalposts on their economic agenda: She won’t be switching up her demands.
“What I can’t tell you is if negotiations will start again or what they’ll look like,” Sinema said at an Arizona Chamber of Commerce event on Tuesday, f irst reported by the Arizona Republic newspaper.
“But what I can promise you is that I’ll be the same person in negotiations if they start again that I was in negotiations last year.”
She emphasized again that she was opposed to raising taxes on large corporations, saying she wouldn’t back “any tax policies that would put a brake on any type of economic growth or forestall business and personal growth for America’s industries.”
“You all know, the entire country knows, that I’m opposed to raising the corporate minimum tax rate,” she said.
A Sinema spokesperson clarified she was referring to raising tax rates on corporations and not backtracking from her past support of a 15% corporate minimum tax.
Sinema’s comments come days after she expressed fresh openness towards a smaller spending package.It also seems to be an effort to put some distance between her and Sen.Joe Manchin of West Virginia, another Democratic holdout who sank the House-approved Build Back Better Act late last year.The party can’t pass the bill in the 50-50 Senate without their votes against unified Republican opposition.
Democrats have complained that Manchin continuously raises new objections that make it extremely difficult to lock in an agreement.
His top priorities for any new piece of legislation include reining in prescription drug costs, slashing the federal deficit and raising taxes on the richest Americans.
But reconciling Manchin’s demand to roll back the 2017 Trump tax cuts and lift taxes on the wealthy with Sinema’s resistance to tax hikes could prove to be a major obstacle in any deal.Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hopes that Sinema’s tax position could sink Democratic efforts to revive their stalled legislative agenda.
The Arizona Democrat set herself apart in the fall by keeping her cards close in negotiations and not publicly staking out her positions.It caused plenty of headaches for Congressional Democrats trying to figure out what she was willing to vote for.
“I can’t put myself in her head,” Rep.John Yarmuth of Kentucky said last October .
“And don’t want to.”