Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona introduced on Friday that she is leaving the Democratic Get together and altering her registration to unbiased 4 years after being elected, a transfer that was met with loads of eyerolls on social media.
The announcement comes simply days after Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican candidate Herschel Walker within the Georgia runoff midterm election, giving Democrats a 51–49 majority within the Senate. Even with Sinema’s transfer, Democrats will nonetheless preserve management of the Senate, albeit very narrowly. (Two different independents, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, caucus with Democrats.)
Sinema, who’s the primary overtly bisexual individual elected to the Senate, introduced the information in a video posted on Twitter, saying that she was combating the “damaged partisan system” and that registering as an unbiased is a mirrored image of who she has at all times been, in addition to “a mirrored image of who Arizona is.”
In an op-ed printed within the Arizona Republic on Friday, Sinema stated that she had “joined the rising numbers of Arizonans who reject occasion politics by declaring [her] independence from the damaged partisan system in Washington.”
Sinema stated that her determination “makes loads of sense” in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, including that she has “by no means match neatly into any occasion field.”
“I’ve by no means actually tried,” she stated. “I do not need to.”
Sinema added that whereas she is not registered as a Democrat, she expects to maintain her committee assignments (she at present serves on three Senate committees and chairs two subcommittees). She additionally instructed Politico that she is not going to caucus with Republicans, though she did not say whether or not she would with Democrats.
The senator is dealing with reelection in 2024, however in her announcement, she didn’t handle whether or not she would run once more.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota told CNN that she didn’t imagine Sinema’s transfer would have an effect on a lot within the Senate.
“Sinema has at all times had an unbiased streak. I don’t suppose I’m telling you something that’s a shock,” Klobuchar stated. “I don’t imagine that is going to shake issues up fairly like everybody thinks.”
All through the final 4 years, Sinema has voted with Republicans in terms of taxes and sided with Democrats on points like LGBTQ rights, infrastructure, and gun management.
Earlier this yr, Sinema was censured by the Arizona Democratic Get together after she refused to vote alongside Democrats to alter the Senate’s filibuster guidelines so as to go voting rights laws.
Final yr, she additionally angered Democrats by voting towards a $15 federal minimal wage invoice that was launched as an add-on to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 reduction invoice.
After Sinema’s announcement on Friday, individuals posted on social media their reactions to the information on social media, and it’s protected to say that almost all weren’t shocked.