Push For Final Infrastructure Deal Marks Key Point For Sinema

Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 6:29pm
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A bipartisan and yet-to-be completely written infrastructure bill hit a procedural snag in Congress on Wednesday.

But a coalition of Republican and Democratic senators that includes Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema says this week’s around-the-clock negotiations are close to producing a final deal.

As talks grind on in Washington, hundreds of Arizona small businesses are pressing Sinema to act on a voting bill neutered by Republicans with the filibuster.

New polling by a progressive firm suggests Sinema’s support of the filibuster — which allows Republicans to continue blocking legislation — is hurting her approval ratings among Arizona Democrats.

Passing an infrastructure bill is a make-or-break moment for Sinema to prove to Arizona voters that bipartisanship works, said Julie Erfle, a communications consultant and progressive who sees Sinema as vulnerable in 2024. 

“The question is can Democrats find somebody who is more progressive than Sinema, but not so progressive that they couldn’t win a general,” said Erfle. 

Democrats must now ask themselves if there’s an upside to taking on Sinema in the primary.

“And it’s why her determination not to change the filibuster I think does put her in a difficult position,” said Erfle, who thinks Sinema’s path to a second term gets easier, if she finds a way to strengthen voting rights while still backing the filibuster.