Kyrsten Sinema eyes $100bn cut in funds to combat climate crisis in Biden bill, report says

Two centrist Democrats key to passing White House’s major legislation

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 09 October 2021 18:46
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US Senator Kyrsten Sinema wants to cut $100bn from climate programs in major legislation being pushed by the White House, a report says.

The Arizona lawmaker is one of two centrist Democrats who are essential to passing a $3.5 trillion budget bill and a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, legislation which is a signature part of President Biden’s domestic agenda.

Ms Sineman, who started her political career in the Green Party, is now demanding the cuts be made on climate provisions in the budget bill, according to The New York Times.

Last month, Ms. Sinema told The Arizona Republic, “We know that a changing climate costs Arizonans. And right now, we have the opportunity to pass smart policies to address it – looking forward to that.”

Ms Sinema’s spokesperson, John LaBombard, denied that she had requested the cuts.

“Neither Senator Sinema nor our office have requested or demanded such cuts, nor have we even heard of any such demands,” he told the newspaper.

But people familiar with her request, told the newspaper Ms Sinema had asked for a cut to the climate programme as Democrats looked for ways to lower the cost of the bill.

The Biden administration started off negotiations looking to secure a $3.5 trillion spending package, but Democrats are now trying to trim that down to $2 trillion.

The bills will not pass without the support of Ms Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Ms Sinema’s lack of full-throated support for Mr Biden’s legislative agenda appears to have put a dent in her support back in Arizona.

Her approval ratings with registered voters of Arizona fell to 42 per cent from 48 per cent between the first and third quarters of 2021, according to Morning Consult Political Intelligence tracking.

People disapproving of her have risen from 35 per cent to 42 per cent in the same time span.

This disapproval stems primarily from Democratic voters.

At 46 per cent, they are now less likely to approve of the Arizona senator’s performance than they were earlier this year.

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