Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is reportedly unleashing not only on her former Democratic colleagues in Congress, but also on the Biden White House.
Speaking before Republican lobbyists, Sinema announced that though she may still be formally aligned with Democrats for the purposes of committees, she is no longer part of the party’s caucus and therefore no longer attends the Dems’ “ridiculous” weekly luncheons at the Capitol, Politico reported Thursday, citing a luncheon attendee.
“Old dudes are eating Jell-O, everyone is talking about how great they are,” Sinema said, according to the outlet. “I don’t really need to be there for that. That’s an hour and a half twice a week that I can get back.”
Kyrsten Sinema reportedly told a group of GOP lobbyists why she stopped attending her caucus’ weekly luncheons in the Capitol.https://t.co/NtOl6CpUnf
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 23, 2023
The “dumb lunches,” which are designed to give lawmakers an opportunity to discuss issues and strategies with one another, were reportedly not worth Sinema’s time, as she now says she spends her days “doing productive work,” according to Politico. Sinema credits the extra time with allowing her to “lead every bipartisan vote that’s happened the last two years,” the outlet reported.
Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December 2022 to become an Independent, had often joined with Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in stymying the Democratic voting block in the narrowly-held Senate. Calling the current political climate polarizing, she argued the best way to represent her constituents was to “reject party politics” and declare her “independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”
Sinema related to the lobbyists a moment from the summer of 2022, when former White House chief of staff Ron Klain allegedly phoned the Arizona senator to ensure she and the rest of the 50 Senate Democrats would be present for a vote to confirm Roopali Desai to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Politico reported.
Sinema then reportedly flashed a middle finger to the audience of lobbyists, announcing she “did not call Ron back,” as she knew the vote would be bipartisan and the confirmation would easily pass.
Though she often joined with Manchin in presenting an obstacle to fellow Democrats in the Senate, Sinema has rejected the notion that she and the West Virginia senator are one and the same, arguing she has “better tax policy ideas” than him, according to Politico.
Sinema’s antics have reportedly delighted some Republicans who are hoping to see her reelected in 2024, though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is focusing his efforts on trying to recruit a more moderate Arizona Republican to replace her, according to the outlet. (RELATED: ‘A Hell Of A Lot Of Guts’: Mitch McConnell Praises Kyrsten Sinema At the University Of Louisville)
Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney told Politico he hoped McConnell would work with Sinema, adding that he was willing to endorse her in the 2024 Senate race as she is “one of the senators that is able to pull people together and actually get legislation passed.”
A spokesperson for Sinema did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment by the time of publication.