Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s Pro-Trump Votes Rile Arizona Democrats; Censure Vote Planned

September 18, 2019 Updated: September 18, 2019

Arizona Democrats are moving to censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) because she is, according to the party, voting too much in alignment with Republican President Donald Trump.

A censure vote will be held Sept. 21 at the party’s quarterly meeting in Prescott.

The resolution the party will vote on cites Sinema voting for the confirmation of Attorney General William Barr, voting against net neutrality, and voting to confirm David Bernhardt as secretary of the interior.

“Therefore, be it resolved that the Arizona Democratic Party censures Senator Kyrsten Sinema for failing to support the tenets of the 2016 Democratic Party Platform,” the resolution states. It also states that, if approved, the resolution will be spread to the media. The resolution was signed by the Progressive Caucus of the state Democratic Party.

Sinema’s team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Sinema’s campaign website states that Sinema is “consistently ranked as one of the most independent voices in Congress.”

Sinema, known as one of the more moderate senators of either party, has voted with Trump’s position 19 percent of the time since becoming a senator earlier this year, according to a vote tracker. While she was a representative, she voted with Trump about 62 percent of the time.

Dan O’Neal, one of the signees of the resolution, told the Arizona Republic that the resolution is aimed to force Sinema to the left.

“Here’s the thing: We really support Kyrsten Sinema, we want her to succeed, we want her to be the best senator in the country,” O’Neal said. “But the way she is voting is really disappointing. We want Democrats to vote like Democrats and not Republicans. “

“The Progressive Caucus is very concerned with Kyrsten Sinema’s voting record. We love her, as we love all Democrats, but we want her to vote like a Democrat rather than supporting Trump half the time,” O’Neal told ABC 15.

Felecia Rotellini, Arizona’s Democratic Party chairwoman, told the Republic that she’s not sure if the censure will pass.

krysten sinema sworn in
Vice President Mike Pence administers a ceremonial Senate oath during a mock swearing-in ceremony to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

While neither Sinema, nor her team, have commented about the proposed censure, she told the Republic earlier this year, “I am 100 percent focused on the needs of everyday Arizonans, and I refuse to be distracted by the pettiness and the partisanship that has invaded Washington.

“I promised Arizonans that I would never be a part of that typical Washington chaos and drama and I’m going to continue to stay focused, just like a laser, on the stuff that actually matters to the people in their everyday lives,” she added.

While Democratic leadership in Arizona is displeased with Sinema, polls have shown high approval rates.

A September survey of registered voters saw 51 percent of respondents say they view her favorably, versus 32 percent who view her unfavorably; the rest had no opinion. But within her own party, 75 percent said they view her favorably.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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