After being harassed by activists tacitly sanctioned by leadership over her deliberations on the reconciliation bill, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has quit the party and become an independent. She still apparently plans to caucus with the Democrats, but the move is a signal that the harassment of a U.S. senator by radical progressive activists won’t go unforgiven. Cortney O’Brien reports for Fox News:
From “a gut punch” to “nothing much has changed,” lawmakers and media pundits reacted to the news that Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has left the Democratic Party to become an independent Sunday.
“Democrats are downplaying this, but it is a gut punch with real implications for how they govern and how they campaign,” ABC political director Rick Klein said Sunday.
Sinema’s pivot to being an independent gives Democrats the “slimmest of margins” in the Senate “with no wiggle room, whatsoever,” Klein added.
Several Democratic lawmakers, however, said nothing much will change in the Capitol.
“Look, I was surprised she made the change, but functionally, I don’t think that changes the thing,” Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mt., said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think we’re going to continue doing the same thing that we were doing, whether she was an independent or part of the Democratic caucus, because she’s going to continue to caucus with the Democrats.”
Watch this video from October 2021 to understand why Sinema may not enjoy being labeled a Democrat any longer:
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