Sanders said Cinema "helped sabotage" several key laws of Congress

Senators added to the chorus of deprecation against the Arizona lawmaker leaving the Democratic party and declaring himself an independent

Popular progressive US Senator Bernie Sanders will consider supporting any Democrat who might pose a challenge to roommate Kyrsten Sinema after she recently left the party and declared herself an independent like him, arguing that she has "helped sabotage" some of Congress's most important. legislation.

Sanders' comments Sunday on CNN's State of the Union add to a chorus of deprecation against Arizona lawmakers who have damaged the White House agenda of Joe Biden and other progressives, including by voting to lower the minimum wage to $15 an hour and reforming the Senate filibuster to enact rights legislation. sound can escape.

The Vermont independent who votes in line with Democratic interests told the show's host, Dana Bash, that members of the far-left party in Arizona “are not very enthusiastic about someone helping to sabotage some of the most important laws protecting the interests of working families. and voting rights and so on”.

And, Sanders added, if the Arizona Democrats do end up running to challenge the newly declared independent candidate, "I'd be watching closely" backing that candidate, even though some fear that unwitting hope could give Republicans a shot.

“I support progressive candidates across this country – people who have the balls to take a special interest,” said Sanders, adding that he was not interested in talking more about Cinema. "I don't know what will happen in Arizona - we'll see who they nominate."

In a separate pre-recorded interview that also aired Sunday on State of the Union, Cinema continued to defend his defection from the Democrats as being independent of party interests.

“I know this is very difficult for many people, especially [on Capitol Hill], but what is important for me is… not to be bound by the partisanship that dominates politics today,” Sinema said in the interview. “I want to remove some of that… poison from our politics. I want to come back to really work on the problem, work together to try and finish this challenge.”

Sinema's departure from the Democrats comes after their party had just managed to get every one of their senators re-elected for the first time since 1934 after Raphael Warnock defended his seat in Georgia on Dec. 6.

Warnock's win over Republican challenger Herschel Walker, combined with Pennsylvania's seat turning to Democrats, led his party to think it had a clear one-seat majority in the upper house of congress. It has spent the last two years split 50-50 in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking with the Democrats.

Cinema, who entered politics as a member of the Green Party and an anti-war activist, said he had no intention of conducting a caucus with Republicans. But he was not clear on whether he would cooperate with Democrats in the way Sanders and fellow independent senator Angus King did.

Cinema has supported the main agenda of the Biden administration, including bills aimed at reducing inflation, protecting gay marriage rights and increasing restrictions

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