Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Defends Her Efforts At Bipartisan Deal Making
United States Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) gave a rare, wide-ranging interview with Politico on Monday in which she provided a glimpse into her unique and frequently controversial approach to legislating.
“I’ve been concerned at the push that happens in both parties, this push to have no disagreements. To only have unity or to only speak with one voice. And some will say, ‘Oh, that is our strength. Having some disagreement is normal. It is real, it is human. And it’s an opportunity for us as mature beings to work through it,” Sinema said of the discrepancies over minutia that often derail important bills.
Sinema had just returned to her office from President Joe Biden‘s signing ceremony of his landmark Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a significant portion of which she authored. She explained that while she supports Biden’s agenda, particularly the imminent need to tackle the worsening climate crisis, that she will only negotiate on the grounds of what is best for residents of her state.
“If you’re in the middle of negotiating things that are delicate or difficult … doing it in good faith directly with each other is the best way to get to an outcome. I’m still in the process of negotiating the second provision of the president’s agenda … and I don’t negotiate in the press,” she said, stressing that sticking to your guns and not overpromising are critical factors in achieving legislative success.
“You’re either honest or you’re not honest. So just tell the truth and be honest and deliver that which you can deliver. There’s this growing trend of people in both political parties who promise things that cannot be delivered, in order to get the short-term political gain. And I believe that it damages the long-term health of our democracy,” Sinema said.
“I’ve been doing this work for almost 20 years and I make decisions based on what’s right for Arizona and what’s most important for Arizona families,” the 45-year-old lawmaker added. “And, you know, the stories that folks want to write, that they’re making up? They can do that.”