Senate

Gallego accuses Sinema of wanting Democrats to lose House, Senate

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) ratcheted up his criticism of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Monday, accusing her of wanting Democrats to lose control of Congress in November. 

Gallego, who has floated a possible 2024 primary bid against the incumbent senator, was responding to comments Sinema made earlier Monday at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville in which she indicated she believes Republicans are “likely” to win back the House or Senate in November.  

“I mean you could be out there helping our candidates @SenatorSinema But my sense is that you would actually prefer the Dems lose control of the Senate and House,” Gallego tweeted. “Now that I think of it. I have been traveling the state and country. Donating, raising funds and encouraging people to come out and vote and I have seen you nowhere @SenatorSinema.”

A Sinema spokesperson declined to comment directly, but pointed The Hill to the theme of her speech on Monday — bipartisanship and political discourse — and an excerpt from it centered on how politics in Washington have become “increasingly radicalized” and “spiraling steadily downward into bitter tribal extremism.”

“Cable news pundits, outside groups, and some political leaders on both sides of the aisle have let the loudest, most extreme voices in each party dominate the discourse and set the agenda because it stokes anger and gets tweets, views and clicks. But it doesn’t solve problems,” Sinema said in her speech.

“More and more, it seems as though Americans are being told that in order to be a member of either political party, you must adhere to a strict set list of policy viewpoints. But that is not how the majority of Arizonans — or Kentuckians — or everyday Americans think,” she added, pointing to the economic troubles facing the U.S.

Gallego has been a frequent critic of the Arizona senator, especially for declining to back key parts of President Biden’s agenda over the last year, headlined by the Build Back Better package.

In January, the Democratic congressman reportedly met with some of Sinema’s donors in New York after she and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) killed the Democratic effort to roll back the legislative filibuster and said that Democrats and progressives have been prodding him about a potential primary run.

Since then, Sinema has notched a couple of wins, as she was involved in crafting the gun violence package following the tragic killings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that passed in June. She also supported the Inflation Reduction Act last month. 

In her Monday speech, Sinema reiterated calls for a 60-vote threshold in the Senate to be restored for all executive and judicial branch nominees, while also emphasizing the need to reject “extreme partisanship” in politics.

“Continuing to indulge our increasingly toxic politics won’t help us come together to solve the problems that plague us,” Sinema said. “We can reject extreme partisanship, ignore the noise on cable news and the zero-sum political games, and instead focus on what unites us — choosing to work together to make progress on the issues that matter most to the Americans we serve,” she told the McConnell Center. “Imagine what more we could accomplish if more leaders joined me in this approach — if, rather than staying in their comfortable partisan corners, more leaders reached out in a genuine desire to find good-faith compromises, and craft durable solutions to our country’s most difficult challenges.”

Tags 2022 midterm elections Arizona Senate primary Kyrsten Sinema Ruben Gallego Ruben Gallego

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