Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Friday said she had been elected to “be a workhorse not a show horse,” as she pushed back against criticism of her negotiating methods regarding legislation.
President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Jobs Act on Nov. 15. Sinema, who keeps close ties with Republicans, played a crucial role in crafting the bill and stood behind Biden as he signed the legislation.
The Arizona lawmaker made the remarks after being questioned on the criticism she’s received from multiple congressional Democrats, many of whom have said they are frustrated over what they characterized as a lack of communication regarding negotiations for the infrastructure and social spending bills.
“You know, when I first was elected to head to Washington, D.C., and represent Arizona about nine years ago, I promised to be a workhorse, not a show horse. That’s exactly what I’ve done over these last nine years,” Sinema said.
She noted that her approach to negotiations for the high-profile legislation is rooted in building trust, and “represents what Arizonans elected me to do, which is to put my head down, get the work done, and deliver results for everyday families.”
Sinema said that moving forward, she wants to make sure that “any spending that we do is targeted” for the reconciliation bill passed by the House on Friday, “so that it’s efficient and effective” and “fiscally responsible.”
“I don’t bend to political pressure from any party or any group,” Sinema added. “I just stay focused on what matters for Arizonans.”
She added that she doesn’t pay “any attention” to national media and is not distracted by “the noise outside.”
“I guess I would just say the proof is in the pudding,” she added. “Here we are today, the bill has become law, and we move on to the next topic, which is to implement it for the benefit of everyday Arizonans.”
Biden’s $1.2 trillion Infrastructure and Jobs Act provides around $550 billion to build and maintain roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and other traditional infrastructure across the country. The bill also contains funding for less traditional forms of infrastructure, including tens of billions of dollars to expand broadband access to poorer and rural families.
They signed the bill in front of the White House, while flanked by members of both parties, in an effort to portray the bill to the American people as a bipartisan effort.
“I am signing a law that is truly consequential, because we made our democracy deliver for the people,” Biden said.
Joseph Lord contributed to this report.