Senators Kyrsten Sinema speaks at the ceremony where U.S. President Joe Biden will sign the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”, on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, November 15, 2021.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has switched parties to become an independent, chipping away at the Democrats narrow control of the U.S. Senate.
Sinema said in a tweet Friday that she was declaring her “independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent.”
Sinema, along with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, have been wild cards for Democrats since the party gained narrow control of the Senate from Republicans in 2020. Both had an outsized role in policymaking with Manchin significantly curbing Democrats’ dreams of passing sweeping legislation.
Sen. Raphael Warnock’s re-election win in Georgia’s U.S. Senate run-off election on Tuesday gave the Democrats one more vote in the chamber and boosted the party’s hopes that a 51-49 majority in the Senate would give the pair less control on crucial bills. The chamber was previously split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.
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