5 Veterans Quit Sinema's Advisory Council Over Her 'Failure' to Stand by Constituents

Several members of Senator Kyrsten Sinema's advisory council have resigned over her opposition to parts of President Joe Biden's agenda.

The New York Times reported Thursday that five veterans who advised the Arizona Democrat quit the council, writing in a letter that she has "become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people."

"We shouldn't have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming," the letter continued.

Newsweek reached out to Sinema's office for comment on the resignations but didn't immediately receive a response.

All eyes have been on Sinema amid negotiations about Biden's multi-trillion-dollar "Build Back Better" agenda, which Democrats are aiming to pass via reconciliation—a legislative process that will allow the party to sidestep the Senate's 60-vote filibuster.

Sinema has challenged the administration on numerous proposals, including the overall price of the package. She and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin have repeatedly said they won't support the original $3.5 trillion topline. Now, the bill is expected to be somewhere near the $2 trillion range.

Sinema has also reportedly opposed a key measure to lower prescription drug costs as well as corporate tax hikes that would be critical to paying for paid family leave and universal preschool programs.

Sinema has received pushback from Arizona activists, who said her position goes against what a majority of her supporters want to see.

Earlier this week, members of Sunrise Movement Tempe slept outside Sinema's Phoenix office in protest. The group is demanding Sinema support action on climate change, public housing and healthcare.

She could also face a primary challenger in her next re-election campaign. A group of Arizona Democrats recently launched a political action committee to support a replacement to Sinema.

5 Veterans Quit Sinema’s Advisory Council
Several members of Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s advisory council have resigned over her opposition to parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda. In this photo, Sinema speaks during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, October 19, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Mandel Ngan/Pool/Getty Images

Sinema and Manchin have been at the center of discussions this week as Democrats know they have to complete a framework for the reconciliation package sooner rather than later.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that there was "universal agreement" among the caucus that an outline should be done by the week's end.

As lawmakers trim the final package, what may be cut includes free community college and money for a 12-week paid family leave program. Biden's expanded Child Tax Credit may also not be extended as long as previously planned.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that the president knows he "is not going to get everything he wants in this package, nor will Speaker Pelosi, nor will Leader Schumer, and nor will any member of Congress, probably. And that's what compromise and negotiations is all about."