Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema has decided to leave the Democratic party and announce she will now be an independent candidate. Coming just three days after Sen. Raphael Warnock beat Herschel Walker in Georgia, the Democrats believed they achieved a 51-49 majority in the Senate, however, they can no longer always count on Sinema’s vote.
While Republicans could’ve faired better during the Midterms and picked up the seats necessary to hold a majority, or at least maintain a 50-50 split, Sinema leaving the Democratic party and shifting to become an independent is certainly a win they’ll take.
Sinema has essentially been independent for a long time, as she has angered Democrats for not sticking to their ideology, meanwhile, many Republicans felt as though they got a pleasant surprise in both Sinema, and Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, a Senator with a similar middle of the road ideology. During her Senate career, Sinema has made a name for herself working with both Republicans and Democrats, helping to achieve bipartisan deals on infrastructure, and measures on gun safety during a Senate that was essentially 50-50. However, Sinema has made decisions that angered many Democrats, including decisions based on President Biden’s infrastructure legislation, often referred to as “Build Back Better.”
The “Build Back Better” had to face the roadblocks of Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema due in large part to the proposed legislation’s cost – which will end up being anywhere between $3-5 trillion. During their opposition of the proposed legislation, both Machin and Sinema made a name for themselves when Democrats acted as if the sky was falling when two of their own wouldn’t vote for a bill worth $3-5 trillion. Rather than looking at the proposed legislation and realizing they were asking too much, they blamed the more moderate Democrats. As a result, both Senators are considered to be middle of the road, and Democrats can’t rely on their votes for anything they may need to pass through the Senate.