(Washington) The centrist Democratic senator, who was crucial to negotiations over Joe Biden’s giant investment program, was furious Monday at being followed into toilets by protesters to the left, in a sign of the divisions that have split the US president’s party.
Kirsten Sinema has represented Arizona in the US Congress since 2019, after winning a seat formerly held by Republicans for nearly 25 years.
At the age of 45, she played a key role in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to obtain the green light from the Senate in August for a landmark plan to invest $1.2 trillion in infrastructure.
But the senator opposes the initially set amount for the other part of Biden’s plans: $3.5 trillion aimed at fundamentally reforming the American social fabric and fighting climate change. This amount is subject to negotiation in both Houses.
This is the attitude of a small group of protesters from the “Lucha” organization to criticize her on Sunday in the halls of Arizona State University, where she teaches.
“We want to talk to you,” says a voiceover on a video uploaded by Lucha.
“I’m leaving,” the senator answered calmly. These would be his only words in an amazing font.
Because the demonstrators follow the senator in the toilets, without stopping to film when she locks herself in the cabin, while we hear the sound of cleaning the toilets and the students come out to wash their hands.
Finally, Kirsten Sinema silently exits and washes his hands while a protester stands nearby and says, “I want you to support the workers.”
On Monday, the senator decried that “yesterday’s behavior is not a legitimate demonstration,” saying it was “totally inappropriate.”
For his part, another centrist Democrat, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, was recently targeted by protesters in kayaks near his barge in Washington.
After he himself stressed that these two senators were holding back progress on his major plans, Joe Biden was questioned about these tactics on Monday.
“These are not appropriate tactics, but they happen to everyone,” he replied. “It’s part of the process.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki then said harsher words, arguing that it was “unacceptable” that Senator Sinema was taken to the toilet.
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