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Will Kyrsten Sinema changing party affiliation to Independent upset Democrats’ majority in Senate?

Kyrsten Sinema announced that she is leaving the Democratic party to become an Independent. How will this affect the Democrats slim majority in the Senate?

Kyrsten Sinema ditches Democratic party to become an independent

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema hasn’t been seeing eye-to-eye with her fellow party members as of late. She received blowback for not supporting the Democrats’ push to pass President Biden’s social spending package that would have secured expansion of the Child Tax Credit and provided families with other financial support measures for elderly care and education.

In an interview with Jake Tapper at her office on Thursday she told him that she had registered as an political independent. “I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense,” said Sinema. “I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to.”

Sinema hasn’t said whether she will caucus with the Democrats

The Democrats secured a 51-vote majority on Tuesday with the reelection of Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock in a runoff race. The party’s majority before Sinema’s announcement included Senators Bernie Sanders and of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, both of whom are independents that formally caucus with the Democrats. In her interview, the newly registered Arizona independent declined to say whether she would do the same.

While the Democrats would still hold on to the majority, without the 51st vote from Sinema, Vice President Kamala Harris would have to cast a tiebreaking vote to reinstate Chuck Schumer as the Senate Majority Leader which would mean that Republicans would have more sway in committees.

However, that is unlikely to come to pass as Sinema told CNN’s Tapper she plans on keeping her committee assignments. Schumer controls the committee assignments, so it appears that she doesn’t intend to rock the boat.

“When I come to work each day, it’ll be the same,” the Arizona Senator said.


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