Sen. Sinema not returning some of Biden’s phone calls amid spending standoff

The fighting among Democrats may be even worse than previously reported.

According to reports from CNN, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has not returned some of President Joe Biden’s phone calls related to negotiations on a massive $3.5 trillion spending bill that moderates have said is too big to vote for, Breitbart reported.

“Biden himself has sounded exasperated at both Manchin and Sinema,” Democratic lawmakers in contact with Biden have said. “The President told progressives this week that he has spent many hours with the two senators ‘and they don’t move.’”

Other Democratic lawmakers have suggested getting Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who also opposes the bill, and Sinema, in a room together with Biden, but he didn’t sound thrilled about the idea.

“Almost like homicide”

Biden reportedly “told the progressive House Democrats that he’s been in politics a long time — and getting them together in the same room would almost be like ‘homicide.'”

The comments portray a level of animosity that has not been evident so far in the spending fight, which has pitted Manchin and Sinema against the rest of their party.

Both senators have experienced intense pressure to cave to progressives’ demands, but have not done so to this point. Sinema was even followed into the bathroom last week by angry and intimidating protesters making demands of her.

Still, neither one has relented from their positions, which are somewhat different but boil down to a “No” vote on a $3.5 trillion spending package that the progressives want so badly they are willing to hold up a separate trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure spending package to get it.

Holding firm

Manchin has thrown out a top price tag of $1.5 trillion to replace the current $3.5 trillion bill but has seemed open to ending up around $2 trillion.

Sinema, on the other hand, according to New York Magazine, is firmly opposed to the tax increases in the bill, which include raising the top marginal rate to 39.6% and a 5.5% corporate tax increase.

Biden knows he’s not going to be able to make both the moderates and the progressives happy, but has signaled that Democrats should meet Manchin and Sinema’s demands in order to get some kind of spending package passed through.

The best-case scenario, though, would be that the whole thing crashes and burns because of Democratic infighting, saving taxpayers at least $3 trillion and avoiding further inflation to boot.

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