Cinemas in Arizona are going through controversial stress from the Democrats’ huge agenda invoice

PHOENIX – Stephen Lumpkin wearing a “Trump 2020” T-shirt at a Republican rally in 2020. Arizona primarieswants the former president to run again in 2024 and believes that against all evidence he may even be “returned” before the next election.

Lumpkin is also a fan of Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and wants her to vote for his party. new account fund health care and clean energy with a 15% minimum tax on corporations.

“I like her,” said Lumpkin, who lives in Glendale. “I wish Sinema would stop this. It’s just another money grab, that’s all.

Laura Schroeder, a 54-year-old physician in Phoenix, who is supportive Donald Trumpthe Republican agreed Blake’s masters A Senate spokesman said he expected Sinema to help block the legislation after Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., “walked out” and cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“She has to kill that thing,” Schroeder said.

Arizona Democrats, aware of Sinema’s history of undermining their party, are nervous ahead of the planned legislative action, as the senator will face a vote in an evenly divided House, where all Republicans are expected to oppose the bill. And some are expressing their frustration at Sinema.

“It’s just amazing that she can’t come out and say a solid yes to a bill that cuts health care costs, cuts prescription drug prices, invests heavily in climate change,” Emily Kirkland, 30, said. a consultant based in Tempe who works in progressive politics.

“No future in politics as a Democrat”

In Kirkland’s eyes, Sinema’s final vote on the bill will be critical to her re-election prospects in 2024. “It really seems like the ball is in her court that way,” she said. “If she’s the only ‘con’ condemning this deal, that tells me she knows she has no future in politics as a Democrat.”

The remarks reflect Sinema’s peculiar position, where she is under pressure to either greenlight or torpedo — or perhaps demand a change — Democrats’ hopes of keeping key elements of her agenda. In response, she has kept quiet about the billreleased Wednesday, her office says it is “reviewing the text” and waiting to see if it will be revised to comply with Senate rules.

Asked about the pressure, Sinema’s spokeswoman Hannah Hurley told NBC News on Tuesday, “Senator Sinema makes every decision based on one criteria: what’s best for Arizona.”

The decision is likely to further change the public’s perception of Sinema, an enigmatic first-term centrist who has sought to build a reputation as a madwoman in this swing state. Last year, she pushed back on the Republican side of the $15 federal minimum wage and blocked tax rate hikes on the wealthy. She completely severed ties with the state Democratic Party, which condemned her in January for rejecting an amendment to the Senate’s rules to pass a voting rights bill.

A former Sinema aide said the senator “never cared about angering the Democratic base” and even seemed to enjoy being criticized by her own party. A former aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said Sinema is “stubborn about her positions” and is happy to be liked by the most conservative Republicans. The former aide also pointed to campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and financial industries as a hint as to why Sinema might be at odds with the new Democratic bill.

Given that Sinema has not spoken publicly about the legislation, the former aide said: “It’s normal to wonder who she’s talking to?” Who does she change her mind with?

After speaking with Sinema on Tuesday, Manchin told reporters in Washington that the two had a “nice talk,” but he did not predict how she would vote when the bill goes to the Senate floor, which Democrats plan to begin this week. .

“She will make a decision based on the facts. We text back and forth,” he said. “She’s incredibly bright. She works hard. She makes good, fact-based decisions. And I trust that.”

Cultivated party maker image

Luis Ávila, a volunteer from the group Primary Sinema, which is ready to support her challenge in 2024, argued that the senator will “absolutely” lose re-election if she vetoes the bill, known as the Anti-Inflation Act.

“She’s an egomaniac who’s just really trying to get money from special interests to do what’s best for her,” he said. “And that’s not why we recruit people.”

But Ávila said that if Sinema votes for the bill, “of course we’ll make sure the voters know.”

“For her to regain the trust of the voters, she has to demonstrate her actions,” he said. “And one really good thing is what’s in front of her right now with this deal.”

If she decides to look for fixes, Sinema faces a different conundrum. One provision of the legislation she is known to oppose, the elimination of the tax break on interest carried by mutual fund managers, is a politically difficult position to defend. She told Democratic leaders last year that she wanted to preserve the tax break, according to multiple sources. However, Sinema and her office have not publicly discussed her position.

Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist who advises Pro-Masters super PAC Saving Arizona, said “there are people who are cautiously optimistic” about Sinema breaking the bill, given her image as a partisan.

“I think if she were to keep it without any changes, it would be against that image,” Surabian said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she said, ‘I’m for 80% or 90%, but I want one bill change’ — so she can maintain that image.”

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