Sinema to hold fundraiser with groups opposed to social spending package

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is reportedly scheduled to hold a fundraiser this week with business groups opposed to the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package being crafted by her party.

Sinema has emerged as a critical voice in the Senate on the legislation and opposes a package with a top line of $3.5 trillion, saying it must be smaller. Progressives have insisted $3.5 trillion should be the floor for the bill.

Sinema and progressives also have various policy differences on the details of the bill, a key part of President Biden’s agenda that is also tied to a separate infrastructure measure already approved by the Senate.

The New York Times obtained a copy of the invitation for Sinema’s fundraiser — flanked with the senator’s campaign logo — that is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

The invitation says the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and the grocers’ PAC, in addition to lobbyists representing roofers and electrical contractors and a small-business group called the S-Corp political action committee, have been invited to the fundraiser, which is set to take place at an undisclosed location.

Attendees, according to the Times, will likely donate between $1,000 and $5,800, payable to Sinema for Arizona.

Internal battles, however, are brewing within the Democratic Party as lawmakers argue over the massive reconciliation bill’s price tag and how to pay for it. 

Sinema and fellow centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) have been at odds with progressives over the size of the reconciliation package. Sinema has also reportedly told her Senate Democratic colleagues in private that she is opposed to the corporate and individual tax rate increases that lawmakers on tax-writing committees in both the House and Senate are looking to implement to pay for the bill’s provisions on climate change, health care and other issues. 

Sinema spokesman John LaBombard told the Times that the senator “voted yes in August on the budget resolution” that set the scene for a social policy and climate bill that cannot be subject to a Republican filibuster.

He also said Sinema is “working directly, in good faith, on the legislation with her colleagues and the administration.”

LaBombard would not, however, comment on the fundraiser.

The Hill reached out to Sinema for more information.

The S-Corp PAC has reportedly told its members that the tax rate increases in the reconciliation package that was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee “would kneecap private companies.” 

Eric Hoplin, CEO of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, said in a statement earlier this month that “passing the largest tax increase in U.S. history on the backs of America’s job creators as they recover from a global pandemic is the last thing Washington should be doing,” according to the Times.

Robert Yeakel, the director of government relations at the National Grocers Association, wrote in a message to his members earlier this month that the reconciliation packages includes a “laundry list of tax hikes that Democrats are contemplating, which should illustrate the size and scope of what is to come.”

“Even if a handful of moderates balk at many of these hikes (Senators Sinema and Manchin have already publicly opposed the $3.5 number), grocers and other industries are still going to see a jump in their tax bill,” he added.

Tags Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema
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