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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Opinion

Kyrsten Sinema needs to stand with the Democratic Party


Kyrsten Sinema needs to stand with the Democratic Party

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

With a Democratic president and a majority in both the House and Senate, the Democratic Party now has the chance to make some progress after four years of Trump. However, certain Democrats, such as Kyrsten Sinema are standing in the way.

Sinema wasn’t always a roadblock for progressives. She used to be a progressive herself, campaigning for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She once wrote a critique of capitalism in 2002 saying how capitalism only benefits wealthy Americans and leaves workers in the dust. 

Sinema would often tell stories of being homeless growing up to advocate for social programs. She once was affiliated with the Arizona Green Party which prioritizes the environment. 

Now, she is keeping causes she used to advocate for from being brought to fruition. She became a meme when she did a thumbs down on increasing the minimum wage.

Now given the chance to vote on it, Sinema votes no when millions live below the poverty line in this country. She said it was because she didn’t want the minimum wage to happen with the COVID-19 -relief bill but as a separate issue. 

When many people are struggling to pay the bills, she voted no on helping them. Who knows the next chance Democrats will have to establish a national $15 minimum wage?

Sinema also refused to vote against the filibuster, a measure in Congress that while advertised as a restriction to prevent tyranny, only allows the minority to have power. Without a supermajority, the Senate can’t pass most legislation, meaning the minority of Republicans’ goals of stopping these bills succeed. 

These are already two examples of Sinema keeping the Democrats from making any progress to undo the damage Trump did. Her damage to the Democratic Party continues with the spending bill.

The Democrats are trying to pass a 3.5 trillion spending bill that would fund social programs, environmental initiatives and other promises of the Democratic Party. Despite Sinema in the past supporting social programs and environmental initiatives, she refuses to support this bill because of how much money it will cost. 

While it is a lot of money, the purpose of the bill is to help the Democrats and Biden deliver on the promises they made during the 2020 election. Biden made promises of healthcare reform, a move towards clean energy and better social programs. He and the Democrats can’t do that without money. 

Kyrsten Sinema needs to get with her party and back the legislation. The Democrats only have so much time in office and they need to do what they can now quickly to make an impact. Especially with global emissions needing to decrease by 60 percent by 2050, the United States needs to act quickly to prevent issues like climate change. 

Sinema’s political career was built on progressive values but now that she has the chance to make them happen, she is refusing to. It’s unclear why. Whatever the reason, Sinema needs to realize why people voted for a progressive like her and vote accordingly. 

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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