Video of Kyrsten Sinema Shaking Hands With GOP Senators After Vote Goes Viral

Video of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) shaking hands with Republican lawmakers after a crucial vote intended to advance her party's voting rights legislation has been widely viewed and commented upon online.

Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) were the only Democrats to vote with Republicans on Wednesday against changing the filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most legislation in the evenly split 50–50 split chamber to pass.

The rule change would have allowed the Democrats' Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act to pass with a simple majority, but the votes by Manchin and Sinema scuppered the filibuster change, which was defeated 52-48.

As of Thursday morning, a clip showing Sinema leaving the chamber while some Republicans approach to shake her hand had been viewed more than 163,000 times, with many sharing it on Twitter and criticizing the Arizona lawmaker.

"The first one there to shake Kyrsten Sinema's hand is John Kennedy," tweeted Daily Beast reporter Justin Baragona, who added that he was one of the GOP senators "who voted to overturn Biden's election victory."

NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake tweeted that after the vote, Republican senators "lined up to shake Sinema's hand on the floor."

Haake said that the other Democratic senator who sided with Republicans, Joe Manchin (WV), "didn't linger on the floor."

Journalist Ashton Pitman also shared the clip, writing, "And there you have it. GOP senators line up to shake Sen. Krysten Sinema's hand after she and Sen. Joe Manchin join all Republicans to kill any chance of passing a new voting rights bill."

Bryan Behar, a TV writer, tweeted: "Not 'Senators gather,' but 'Republicans Senators gather to shake Sinema's hand.' She has found her people. And they aren't the ones who voted her into office."

Ahead of Wednesday's vote, both Manchin and Sinema had repeatedly voiced their opposition to changing the filibuster.

In a rebuke to President Joe Biden, Sinema said in a floor speech last week she backed the voting rights legislation but would not back "separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country." Newsweek has contacted Sinema's office for comment.

The voting rights legislation was a countermeasure to dozens of laws passed in GOP-led states that Democrats say disenfranchise voters of color.

Biden said he was "disappointed" at Wednesday's vote but not "deterred" and would continue to "push for Senate procedural changes that will protect the fundamental right to vote."

The Hill reported that Democrats are expected to shift their focus away from voting rights and the filibuster discussions towards reviving the Build Back Better bill as well as co-operating with Republicans on issues such as Russia sanctions and funding the government.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in the U.S. Capitol Building on January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. She voted with Republicans to reject procedural changes that would allow Democrats to advance voting rights legislation. Anna Moneymaker/Getty