Sinema says ‘dear friend’ McCarthy in ‘unenviable position’ after Speaker battle

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) railed against both political parties in an appearance at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, saying “radical” Republicans have put Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in an “unenviable position” at the start of the new Congress.

Sinema took the opportunity on a panel with other U.S. lawmakers in Davos, Switzerland, to chastise both Republicans and Democrats for working to “get everything they want.”

She took aim at Republicans who sought to block McCarthy’s Speaker election this month, saying the California Republican, whom she called a “dear friend,” had to “keep conceding” to the “radical right of the GOP, to the point where he is now in an unenviable position.”

“That will make it very difficult for us to meet our obligation when the debt limit fight comes up later this year,” Sinema said.

During her remarks, the newly Independent senator celebrated her efforts to join Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who was also on the panel, to block filibuster reform in the Senate and fight back against a sweeping voting rights package in the last Congress.

She said the filibuster is an “important guardrail for the institution” and dinged Democrats who argued the U.S. would “not have any more” free elections without the voting rights package, saying the country had free elections in 2022 without the legislation passing.

“One could posit that the push by one political party to eliminate an important guardrail in an institution in our country may have been premature or overreaching in order to get the short-term victories they wanted,” Sinema said.

Sinema and Manchin were key barriers to Democratic efforts to reform the filibuster and by extension killed any chance the party had at passing a voting rights package through the Senate.

The Arizona senator said the two instances serve as examples of “the pull that you see political parties giving in order to get everything they want.”

Tags democrats house Joe Manchin Kevin McCarthy Kyrsten Sinema McCarthy republicans sinema

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