Senator Kyrsten Sinema was targeted by another group of protesters on Monday, this time at Reagan National Airport after she landed in Washington D.C. for this week’s Senate session.
It was the second time in four days the Arizona Democrat was a target for party activists.
Video footage showed Sinema on her cell phone as she made her way through Reagan National Airport, where a group of protesters were awaiting her arrival on a flight from Arizona.
At least a dozen people surround her, many filming her on their mobile phones. A TSA agent is seen walking behind the senator.
The protesters asked her what she would cut from the Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget package of social programs that span education, healthcare and the environment. Sinema did not answer, according to an NBC reporter on the scene.
President Joe Biden on Monday defended the activists who publicly confronted Sinema and her fellow moderate Senator Joe Manchin.
Sinema and Manchin have become public targets of liberal ire and fixtures in popular culture as they hold out against the $3.5 trillion price tag, saying it’s too high to get their vote.
Both senators have been publicly confronted by activists, including a group who followed Sinema into a bathroom at Arizona State University on Friday, where she was teaching a class. Sinema was also lampooned on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. Meawhile, a flotilla of kayak-activists recently swarmed Manchin’s D.C. houseboat to pressure the senator, who came out to chat with them.
Both encounters were filmed by the activists, who posted the footage to social media.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema was targeted by another group of protesters who were waiting for her at Reagan National Airport after she landed in Washington D.C. for this week’s Senate session
At least a dozen people surround Sen. Sinema many filming her on their mobile phones, while a TSA agent is visible behind the senator
Biden said he didn’t think the actions of the activists were appropriate but shrugged them off, saying it’s ‘part of the process.’
‘I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics but it happens to everybody. The only people doesn’t happen to people who have Secret Service standing around them. So it’s part of the process,’ he said.
Sinema released a statement blasting the activists from Friday, saying it ‘was not legitimate protest.’ She noted the activists interrupted a class she teaches at the university.
Sinema said they had used deception to enter a locked building.
‘My students were unfairly and unlawfully victimized. This is wholly inappropriate,’ she said in a statement.
‘It is the duty of elected leaders to avoid fostering an environment in which honestly-held policy disagreements serve as the basis for vitriol — raising the temperature in political rhetoric and creating a permission structure for unacceptable behavior.’
She added that she had previously met with the group behind Sunday’s protest and would continue to talk to Arizonans with a diverse range of views.
‘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,’ she said.
The protesters want immigration reform included in Biden’s legislative agenda and implored the Arizona senator to do something about it. Video footage shows she did not engage with them as she walked out of the bathroom stall and washed her hands.
One activist told her: ‘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.’
A group of activists followed Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom at Arizona State University on Friday to demand that the Democrat address immigration issues
‘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 activist threatened.
Meanwhile, Manchin on Friday was confronted by kayakers from West Virginia, who floated up to his $700,000 yacht Almost Heaven.
He came out to speak to them, assuring them he was working to pass a reasonable bill.
‘We’re working hard, we really are,’ Manchin said, looking down at the protesters who paddled up to speak with him. ‘We want to get a good bill that’s a balanced bill, that’s well done. And I know it won’t be enough for some, it will be too much for others.’
Biden, meanwhile, blamed the two senators for holding up his agenda.
He didn’t call out Manchin and Sinema by name but it was clear who he meant when he pointed out he was short two Democratic votes in the Senate.
‘They need 50 votes in the Senate,’ he said of Democrats. ‘I have 48.’
Both Manchin and Sinema have objected to the $3.5 trillion price tag. The president, congressional leaders and White House staff have been in negotiations with the two of them as Biden tries to pass his legislative agenda.
‘I’ve been able to close the deal with 99% of my party – two, two people,’ Biden told reporters at the White House after he made comments on the debt ceiling.
Biden ran for president on his ability to make deals and touting his legislative experience.
Now he is balancing a legislative tight rope.
Progressives in the House are refusing to support his bipartisan $1.1 trillion infrastructure plan unless the $3.5 trillion budget package passes the Senate. But Manchin and Sinema won’t vote for that package at the $3.5 trillion number.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden would hold virtual meetings with progressive House Democrats later that afternoon and would speak with moderates later in the week.
Hours of talks last week, which went late into the night in the dark, dimmly lit basement in the Capitol, failed to produce a deal. Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to buy the president time by postponing a planned Monday vote on the infrastructure bill to Thursday – then holding the legislative session open into Friday – but to no avail.
Sen. Joe Manchin addresses kayak protesters who swarmed his houseboat in Washington D.C.
Protesters kayaked to the ship to ask why their senator would not support his own party’s $3.5 trillion infrustructe bill
President Joe Biden hammered Republicans for refusing to raise the debt ceiling in Monday morning remarks from the White House.
So Biden trekked up to Capitol Hill on Friday afternoon, where, behind closed doors, he pleaded with liberals in his party to come down by more than a trillion dollars and support a $2 trillion package.
And he’ll fly to Michigan on Tuesday to start a nation-wide sales pitch.
Manchin and Sinema have been getting slammed by liberals for not publicly naming a price tag. After a flurry of criticism last week, Manchin said he’d support a $1.5 trillion package while Sinema refused to devulge her number but said she had privately told it to Biden and congressional leaders.