Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is slated to hold a fundraiser with five lobbying groups asking her to oppose her party’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, which includes calls to expand Medicare, extend the monthly child tax credit payments, create a universal pre-K program, and invest in green energy.
According to an invitation for the event obtained by the New York Times, the fundraiser will be hosted by political action committees representing roofers, electrical contractors, and grocers, which have invited their members to join them for exactly 45 minutes Tuesday afternoon. During that time, they may make out checks for anywhere from $1,000 to $5,800—the maximum contribution for a couple—to Sinema for Arizona.
Sinema has come out against the bill, claiming that it’s the size of the legislation—that is, the price tag—that’s the main problem. In private Sinema reportedly told fellow Democrats said that she’s specifically opposed to tax hikes on corporations and the ultra-rich that are built into the package to pay for its bold measures.
Sinema helped lead bipartisan negotiations over the smaller $1 trillion infrastructure bill along with Ohio Senator Rob Portman and members of the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House. Last week, Sinema said that if the House delayed its vote on the infrastructure bill—originally scheduled for Monday—she wouldn’t support the reconciliation bill, which Senate Democrats need all 51 votes to pass. Politico reported that Sinema and other centrists’ calculus stemmed from a belief that “no infrastructure bill is better than one that’s paired with $3.5 trillion in spending.” On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi postponed the vote until Thursday, in hopes that the extra time would allow party members to reach an agreement.
Sinema’s colleagues tell the Times that she’s still going through the contents of the reconciliation legislation “methodically,” but with a fundraiser planned in her honor, it seems safe to assume she’s made up her mind.
Correction 9/29/21 11 a.m. EST: An earlier version of this story mistakenly identified the $3.5 trillion legislation as the Democrats’ “infrastructure bill” rather than as the reconciliation bill.