Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., take questions at a July 28 news conference after a procedural vote for the bipartisan infrastructure framework./NPR
By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic
U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema fired back at liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives Saturday, saying it was “inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities” across the nation that the fate of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is linked to their $3.5 trillion human safety net measure.
The left-wing of the party held up the bipartisan infrastructure deal Sinema, D-Ariz., helped broker. Their resistance came after Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, D- W.Va., separately made clear they did not support the sprawling, unfinished House bill.
“The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country,” she said in a lengthy statement Saturday. “Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families.
The apparent impasse has for the moment bottled up both bills. President Joe Biden spoke with House Democrats on Friday, and participants left the meeting sounding optimistic a deal to pass some version of the House bill along with the Senate-passed measure was still possible.
For now, Sinema’s infrastructure deal is in limbo after progressives in the House continued to tie passage of her bill to passage of a House bill sketching out $3.5 trillion in “human infrastructure” and climate change mitigation.
Sinema had been largely silent on the matter until Saturday.