Democrats pushed ahead Friday on an estimated $730 billion package that in many ways reflects Sinema’s priorities and handiwork more than the other political figures who have played a key role in delivering on Biden’s signature domestic policy agenda.
It was Sinema early on who rejected Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, as she broke with party’s primary goal of reversing the Trump-era tax break Republicans gave to corporate America.
And it was Sinema who in one final stroke gave her blessing to the deal by extracting an ultimate demand — she forced Democrats to drop plans to close a tax loophole that benefits wealthy hedge fund managers and high-income earners, long a party priority.
“Kyrsten Sinema’s proven herself to be a very effective legislator,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who has negotiated extensively with his colleague over the past year, including on the tax loophole.
While other lawmakers bristle at the influence a single senator can wield in Congress, where each member represents thousands if not millions of voters, Sinema’s nod of approval late Thursday was the last hurdle Democrats needed to push the Inflation Reduction Act forward.
Progressive Rep. Ruben Gallego is openly musing about challenging Sinema in the 2024 primary in Arizona, and an independent expenditure group, Change for Arizona 2024, says it will support grassroots organizations committed to defeating her in a Democratic primary.
On the climate provisions, a priority for Democrats, Sinema may have played a role in keeping the sweeping provisions in the bill, when Manchin was less inclined to do so.
Environmental leaders, who have been involved in talks on the bill since last year, said Sinema has helped shape the bill all along.
Jamal Raad, executive director of Evergreen Action, an environmental group that has pushed for the climate bill, said: “Senator Sinema needed money for drought relief to help her constituents stave off the worst effects of climate change.
At home in Arizona, business allies that have been crucial to Sinema’s efforts to build an independent image have cheered on her willingness to resist party pressure over the tax increases.
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