Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described Sinema as a “key partner,” attributing her support of President Joe Biden’s legislative priorities, from the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, the PACT Act, and the Respect for Marriage Act, for their passage.
“We understand that her decision to register as an independent in Arizona does not change the new Democratic majority control of the Senate, and we have every reason to expect that we will continue to work successfully with her,” Jean-Pierre wrote in a statement Friday.
Sinema announced earlier Friday that her decision to leave the Democratic Party does not mean she intends to caucus with the Republicans. The first-term senator also did not confirm whether she would seek a second term in 2024 as Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) stokes speculation he will contest the seat.
“When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans’ lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans,” she said in an Arizona Republic op-ed.
“That’s why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington,” she said.
Sinema’s disagreement with Biden over his climate and social welfare spending legislation rankled more liberal Democrats, leading some activists to confront her in a university bathroom.