Sinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal

Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock Virginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda  MORE (D-Ariz.) is back in Arizona on Friday as Democrats and the White House try to work out an agreement to unlock a stalled bipartisan infrastructure bill, which she spearheaded, and a sweeping social spending bill, where she's a key holdout.

Sinema, according to a spokesman, returned to Arizona for a "medical appointment" on Friday but is continuing "remote negotiations with the White House."

Sinema and her staff offered the "White House continued discussions and negotiations" for Friday, the spokesman added, and the two sides connected on Friday afternoon.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sinema's return to her home state comes after she and Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Democrats want to bolster working women, but face tortuous choices Buttigieg says delay in climate action will cost lives amid reports of Manchin roadblock MORE (D-W.Va.) met with White House domestic policy adviser Susan RiceSusan RiceSinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal White House says it's 'closer to agreement than ever' after House punts infrastructure vote Manchin says 'I don't see a deal tonight' MORE and senior adviser Brian DeeseBrian DeeseWhite House weighing steps to address gas shortages Environmental activists' email blast disrupted White House communications over two days: report Sinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal MORE late into Thursday night in a basement office in the Capitol.

Democratic leadership and the White House are hoping that they can reach an agreement with Sinema and Manchin on a framework for the reconciliation bill that would convince House progressives to vote for the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, after House Democratic leadership delayed a vote on Thursday night.

Both Manchin and Sinema have warned that they can't support a $3.5 trillion bill, the size that House Democrats have crafted. Manchin said this week that he's willing to go as high as $1.5 trillion, while Sinema has not specified a top-line number.

The Senate largely left town on Thursday night until Monday. A spokeswoman for Manchin didn't respond to a question on Friday about if he had stayed in Washington, D.C., but Manchin told reporters as he left the Capitol on Thursday night that "I should be around" and that he's "not leaving."

The House is still in Washington, D.C., with President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE heading to Capitol Hill to meet with Democrats. The timing of a vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill is in limbo, with progressives threatening to vote it down if Pelosi brings it to the floor without an agreement worked out on reconciliation.

ADVERTISEMENT

House leadership also hasn't said if they'll keep their members in Washington, D.C., through the weekend. But Sinema, The New York Times reported, has a fundraiser in Arizona over the weekend. 

House Democrats downplayed Sinema's absence, noting that they could connect with her even if that wasn't in person.

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesSinema in Arizona as Democrats try to get spending-infrastructure deal LIVE COVERAGE: Biden tries to unify divided House Democrats search for sweet spot below .5 trillion price tag MORE (N.Y.), the House Democratic caucus chairman, appeared unconcerned that Sinema wasn't in Washington on Friday.

“I mean, that probably would’ve been problematic in 1800, when we otherwise would not have been able to reach her," Jeffries said.

Cristina Marcos contributed. Updated at 4:56 p.m.