As Democrats push for agreement on a hard-fought social safety net bill, one of the key holdouts, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, left Washington on Friday. The reason, his spokesperson said, was a medical appointment for a foot injury.
But on Saturday, she is also scheduled to attend her political action committee’s “retreat” with donors at an upscale resort and spa in Phoenix, three different sources, including one attendee, confirmed. The hotel has also confirmed the event, which will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by dinner.
Fundraising for lawmakers is of course not unusual, but Ms Sinema’s timing is sure to increase the level of frustration her fellow Democrats are already feeling towards the senator. President Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress are trying to reach a framework agreement on a climate change and social policy bill that can pass with the votes of all Democrats in the Senate and virtually all Democrats in the Bedroom.
This need for unanimity gave Ms. Sinema a right of veto. The senator, who is not re-elected until 2024, has met several times with White House negotiators, but some Democrats say she has not been engaged in the intense negotiations needed to at least reach an agreement on a cost of 10 years of the invoice. On the other hand, the other resister, Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, remains in Washington this weekend.
Earlier this week, Ms. Sinema’s “Sinema for Arizona” fundraising arm held an event on Capitol Hill with five business lobby groups, many of whom fiercely oppose the bill she is supposed to to negotiate. 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 group of small businesses called the Political Action Committee S- Corp, invited association members to an undisclosed location. Tuesday afternoon for 45 minutes to write checks between $1,000 and $5,800.
This weekend’s event is billed as a “retreat” for his political action committee.
The senator’s spokesman, John LaBombard, said Friday, “Senema Sinema is currently in Phoenix where she has a medical appointment today for her broken foot, and is pursuing remote negotiations with the White House. . Before leaving Washington for Arizona, she offered the White House time to continue negotiations remotely.
She was scheduled to start her next call with White House officials at 2:30 p.m., he said.