(RightWing.org) – Just days after Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) won in the Georgia runoff election giving the Democrat caucus a 51-49 majority in the Senate, one of his colleagues has quit the party and become an independent. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) has been drifting away from the party mainstream for some time, but now the break is official. On Friday, the White House praised her record and predicted no change in the balance of the Senate, but can they really predict what Sinema will do in the future?
In a natural extension of my service since I was first elected to Congress, I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/jUQHAeuxym
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) December 9, 2022
On December 8, Sinema told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) she no longer considers herself a Democrat and will go forward as an independent. The next day, she gave a statement to the media announcing her decision. Hours later, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre thanked Sinema for helping pass some of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda and said her change of allegiance “does not change the new Democratic majority control of the Senate.” She went on to say the administration has “every reason to expect” it will be able to keep working with her.
That could be true. Sinema says she’ll keep her current committee assignments and won’t be caucusing with the GOP. On the other hand, she hasn’t caucused with the Democrats for a while, and on Friday, she told CNN’s “This Morning” that she’s leaving the “partisan process.”
If the Democrats expect Sinema to be another tame independent who’s really one of them in all but name, they could be in for a surprise.
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