President Joe Biden dismissed the harassment of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) as “part of the process” of being in the public eye, though he called out the inappropriate “tactics” used by those who followed the lawmaker into a restroom.
The incident was caught on camera and revolved around Sinema’s lack of support for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill being pushed by Democrats. Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been trying to get the spending spree approved, but roadblocks such as Sens. Sinema and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have helped Republicans by standing in the way.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden about the incident and the president responded, saying: “I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody. The only people it doesn’t happen to are people who have Secret Service standing around them. So it’s part of the process.”
Biden’s response was met by criticism, as expected. His response is seen on video here:
Joe Biden claims that Senator Sinema being followed into a bathroom by activists and harrased is "part of the process" of being in public office. pic.twitter.com/nBOzuiRyTx
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) October 4, 2021
Sinema was at Arizona State University when she faced the wrath of activists who demanded she support the expensive spending bill.
The chaotic scene was captured on video, showing Sinema going into a bathroom, entering a stall, and an activist standing outside the stall as others were chanting about Biden’s slogan, ‘Build Back Better.’
Statement Following Events at ASU on Sunday pic.twitter.com/4d3BF9P8CO
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) October 4, 2021
After the inappropriate incident, Sinema issued a statement saying,”Yesterday’s behavior was not legitimate protest.”
“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 continued. “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.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 4, 2021
Sinema has expressed public distaste for the $3.5 trillion bill and Manchin has publicly suggested he prefers a comparable bill that sits around the $1.5 trillion range, opposed to spending $2 trillion extra.
The outspoken Democrat has opposed the Pelosi-backed bill for quite some time. Her spokesperson, John LaBombard, stated back in August that “Proceedings in the U.S. House will have no impact on Kyrsten’s views about what is best for our country – including the fact that she will not support a budget reconciliation bill that costs $3.5 trillion.”
Sinema issued a statement about the bill on September 30 noting claims that she had not detailed her views to Biden or Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were inaccurate and that Biden and Schumer were well aware of her decisions and she will continue to negotiate in good faith – not through the press:
Statement on Budget Reconciliation Negotiations pic.twitter.com/QZpaMXxm7q
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) September 30, 2021
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