6 Times Kyrsten Sinema Has Opted For Productive Over Partisan By Madeline Osburn for The Federalist
As one of the Senate’s last true moderates, Democratic Sen. Krysten Sinema bucks her leftist-leaning party in favor of common sense.
Perhaps the best evidence for those who believe the Arizona electorate is turning purple is their extremely purple senator, Kyrsten Sinema. The freshman senator from Arizona supports Israel, wants a secure border, and votes to confirm Trump judicial nominees. She’s also a Democrat.
At a time when moderates are few and far between, and Blue Dog Democrats are nearly extinct, Sinema has so far adopted a notably pragmatic approach that other swing state representatives should take note of. Congress’ approval rating has not passed 30 percent in the last 10 years. A Gallup poll last month found that 78 percent of Americans disapprove of the gridlocked body.
In Sinema’s 2009 book, “Unite and Conquer,” Sinema describes how she evolved from a “bomb-thrower” and “patron saint for lost causes” in the Arizona state house to a centrist, deal-making congresswoman who actually got things done.
“I hadn’t gotten any of my great policies enacted into law, and I’d seen lots of stuff I didn’t like become law. It was just plain sad,” she wrote. She found that passing legislation was more rewarding than attacking her political opponents.
Since she arrived in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, Sinema has clung to this philosophy, bucking the progressive dogma of her party. Since taking her Senate seat in January, she has sided with conservatives on some of the biggest issues of the last seven months.
1. Pushing For a Program to Deport Migrants Without Valid Asylum Claims
Last week, Sinema was one of three Democrats who joined a group of Republicans calling for a pilot program along the U.S.-Mexico border that would quickly screen and remove migrant families who lack valid legal claims for asylum. DHS would be able to remove family units within 15 days who fail to meet the “credible fear” criteria.
“This pilot program would apply to families who aren’t claiming ‘credible fear,’ which of course is the first threshold in seeking asylum,” Sinema told The Arizona Republic. “If someone says ‘I left my country because I can’t make a living,’ (or) ‘it’s hard to take care of my family’ — that’s what we call an economic migrant.”
Senators hope the program, “Operation Safe Return,” will alleviate overcrowding at border facilities and help officials understand the drivers of migration. When a large caravan of Central American migrants made their way through Mexico last fall, Sinema said she supported sending troops to the border.