Democrats’ ongoing internal struggles have exploded into the open once again as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s open criticism of Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has upset progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. David Knowles reports at Yahoo! News:
Tensions between Washington Democrats and Kyrsten Sinema came to a boil late Tuesday with the Arizona senator lashing out at Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the slow pace of voting in the chamber.
“Could we have some discipline in the votes, ever?” Sinema was overheard by a Bloomberg reporter in the press gallery challenging Schumer. “You’re in charge!”
While Schumer’s response to Sinema was not captured on tape or relayed to reporters by Senate colleagues, Sinema’s outburst caught the attention of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Actually he should continue to make their lives as difficult as possible and treat them the way they treat, say, public housing residents. Or parents who rely on CTC. When they improve, maybe process can improve too.
Why should we make the lives of obstructionists easier? https://t.co/KBbX8DbYdo
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 2, 2022
Ocasio-Cortez is one of many progressives incensed at Sinema over her opposition to the Build Back Better bill and changes to the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
Last month, Schumer scheduled a vote on bypassing a Republican filibuster on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, a top priority for the Biden administration and the Democratic Party, despite the fact that Sinema and fellow centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia had gone on record saying they would not support the legislative maneuver.
“The American people deserve to see their senators go on record and whether they will support these bills or oppose them,” Schumer said ahead of the failed vote. “Indeed, that may be the only way to make progress on this issue for now: for the public to see where each of us in this chamber stands.”
Both Manchin and Sinema said they supported the substance of the bill itself. But, saying that eliminating the filibuster “would deepen our divisions and risk repeated radical reversals in federal policy,” Sinema voted against changing filibuster rules. In response, the Arizona Democratic Party voted on Jan. 22 to censure her.
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