Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s announcement that she is becoming an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats means much less because of John Fetterman’s win in Pennsylvania.
Sinema announced that she was becoming an Independent:
Kyrsten Sinema leaves the Democratic Party but will caucus with the Democrats in the Senate, "I've registered as an Arizona independent. I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this but actually I think it makes a lot of sense." pic.twitter.com/WUEpvSLmvM
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 9, 2022
The key is that Sinema wants to stay on her committees, which means that she will caucus with the Democrats, “I intend to maintain my position on my committees and keep doing the work that I’ve been doing for Arizona. So I don’t think that things will change in terms of how I operate or the work I do in the United States Senate.”
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If Sinema were to caucus with the Republicans, she would not get to keep her committee assignments, and Democrats aren’t just going to give the committees that she wants.
She has no chance of getting them without caucusing with the Democrats.
John Fetterman Wrecked Kyrsten Sinema’s Power Play
Part of John Fetterman’s pitch to voters in Pennsylvania was that he would be the 51st vote to negate the power of Manchin and Sinema.
If Dr. Oz would have kept the Pennsylvania Senate seat in the Republican column, Sinema would currently be able to decide the Senate majority and shop for the best deal for herself.
Fetterman’s victory means that even if Sinema were to caucus with the Republicans, Democrats will still control the majority, and since she wants plum committee assignments, Sinema is going to end up caucusing with the Democrats.
John Fetterman kept the Democrats from having their majority held hostage by Kyrsten Sinema. Assuming that Herschel Walker was never going to defeat Sen. Warnock in Georgia, Fetterman’s victory fundamentally shifted the Senate majority math to Democrats.
Sinema was about to be primaried and voted out by Arizona Democrats. Instead of getting to decide the majority, by winning in Pennsylvania, Fetterman made sure that Democrats kept the Senate no matter what Sinema did.
Kyrsten Sinema’s plan was thwarted the day that John Fetterman flipped a Senate in Pennsylvania.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association