In the latest sign of liberal frustration with Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over the budget impasse, Rep. Mark Pocan is saying she has brought nothing ‘but a designer purse’ to leadership negotiations.
Pocan, a Wisconsin member of the substantial House progressive faction, tore into Sinema as the Arizona Democrat once again held a key role in Capitol negotiations, after shuttling repeatedly to the White House this week.
Some progressives are boiling over at the first-term senator, even as the cut more slack to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has put a number on what he is willing to support in a major reconciliation bill, and called for rolling back some of the Trump tax cuts.
The frustration even as Democrats appear to have made at least some progress in narrowing differences and moving toward agreement on an overall price tag for the president’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan being renegotiated.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., leaves a private meeting with Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese, and other White House officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) says she has brought nothing ‘but a designer purse’ to leadership negotiations.
‘I think those negotiations have started now, so… this has probably helped some things move loose,’ Pocan told Forbes, in reference to Manchin’s printed proposal, which emerged Thursday.
Then he dug into Sinema, who got four White House meetings over two days.
‘Half of Manchinema has now shown us something. Waiting for the other half to show us something other than a designer purse,’ he quipped.
His comment came after fellow progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) ripped Sinema this week.
‘The president has already won me over. I’m on his side, as by the way is 99 per cent of the Democratic party,’ the lawmaker fumed on CNN. ‘We’re willing to negotiate,’ he said. ‘Literally one senator – one Senator, Kyrsten Sinema – is holding up the will of the entire Democratic Party,’ he said.
‘Half of Manchinema has now shown us something. Waiting for the other half to show us something other than a designer purse,’ said Pocan, in reference to Sens. Manchin and Sinema
Progressive lawmakers have been boiling over at Sinema for failing to state precise objections to the reconciliation bill or a top number she can live with. ‘Claims that the Senator has not detailed her views to President Biden and Senator Schumer are false,’ she finally responded Thursday
Democratic Senator from West Virginia Joe Manchin tells reporters that his spending limit for the Democrat’s budget reconciliation package is 1.5 trillion US dollars outside the US Capitol Washington, DC, USA, 30 September 2021
Fellow Democrats are frustrated with Manchin’s demands, but at least give him credit for listing them
Said Khanna: ‘The President keeps begging her: tell us what you want. Put a proposal forward,’ Khsanna said. He noted that progressive lawmakers had come down from an earlier push for $6 trillion in the ‘human infrastructure’ bill.
‘How do you compromise … when Sinema is not saying anything?’ he asked. ‘This is not progressives versus moderates. This is the entire Democratic Party and Joe Biden versus Kyrsten Sinema,’ he added. ‘I have no idea what she wants. I don’t htink her colleagues know what she wants. I don’t think the president knows what she wants. We don’t know what she wants. it’s really odd.
Sinema defended herself against the criticism in a statement tweeted out by her office Thurdsay.
‘Senator Sinema said publicly more than two months ago, before Senate passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, that she would not support a bill costing $3.5 trillion,’ her office said. ‘In August, she shared detailed concerns and priorities, including dollar figures, directly with Senate Majority Leader [Chuck] Schumer and the White House. Claims that the Senator has not detailed her views to President Biden and Senator Schumer are false.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday praised Manchin, even as the White House and fellow Democrats struggled to win him over. She called him a ‘great member of the Senate.’
‘We’re friends. Italian-Americans. Catholic,’ she said.
Sinema, who is the first openly bisexual women to serve in the Senate, is known in the Capitol corridors for wearing bright outfits and sometimes donning colorful wigs. But she is not known to regularly sport high-end fashion brands
Pocan, whose district includes Madison, is openly gay.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Sinema for comment.