A group of immigration activists confronted Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) on Sunday, who followed her into the restroom, demanding her to vote for the Democrats’ sweeping spending bill.
The event transpired at Arizona State University in Phoenix, where the senator is a lecturer.
“We knocked on doors for you to get you elected. Just how we got you elected, we can get you out of office if you don’t support what you promised us,” one of the activists told Sinema, according to the video released.
It is illegal in Arizona to photograph or videotape someone in a restroom. Following the Sunday incident, the senator released a statement slamming the activists.
“Yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest,” Sinema said in a statement. “It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.”
In response to the activists’ claim that Sinema refused to meet them, the senator argued that she had already met them several times.
“The activist group that engaged in yesterday’s behavior is one that both my team and I have met with several times since I was elected to the Senate, and I will continue engaging with Arizonans with diverse viewpoints to help inform my work for Arizona,” Sinema added in her statement.
Sinema and her fellow centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) pledged not to vote for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, the Build Back Better plan, the Biden administration’s most ambitious program for social programs and climate action.
In a 50-50 Senate, Democrats will need the two centrists’ vote to win the simple majority and pass the bill by the budget reconciliation.
Amid the ongoing deadlock, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) announced that the House would delay both the infrastructure and reconciliation vote to the end of the month.