‘We can work together’: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s calls for bipartisanship tested as she helps lead infrastructure talks

In this Feb. 9, 2021, photo Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., right, arrive as the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump start. /J. Scott Applewhite /AP

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s insistence on bipartisanship is getting tested this week as she spearheads negotiations on an infrastructure deal sought by President Joe Biden.

In an evenly divided Senate and a partisan-charged environment, Sinema, D-Ariz., is trying to find common ground with enough Republicans to move forward with a plan to help reshape the nation’s roads, airports, water systems and broadband.

Biden abandoned the effort at bipartisanship last week, with the White House conceding they could not make a deal with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., on behalf of the GOP broadly. 

Now hopes for a deal with at least some GOP lawmakers seem to fall to Sinema and 9 other relatively moderate senators. Sinema’s office confirmed the Biden administration has encouraged her leadership of the negotiations.

In recent months, Sinema has become nationally known as one of the most prominent Democratic opponents of doing away with the legislative filibuster that effectively requires 60 votes to move ahead in the Senate.

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