Ro Khanna Says Kyrsten Sinema 'Not Clear' About Her Beliefs: 'Why Doesn't She Explain Herself?'

California Representative Ro Khanna criticized Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema for being "not clear" about her beliefs, as Democrats continue debating the specifics of two major spending bills.

Khanna, a progressive Democrat who represents parts of the Bay Area, accused Sinema of not explaining her beliefs while appearing on Fox News Sunday.

His frustration with the centrist Senator comes as moderate and progressive Democrats attempt to reach a compromise over two spending bills—a $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill that funds traditional infrastructure including roads and bridges, and a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that would fund "human" infrastructure.

Progressives have frequently clashed with Sinema over the bills. The Arizona Democrat said earlier in October that she would not vote for the reconciliation bill without first passing the $1.2 trillion bill. She has also raised concerns about the large price tag of the reconciliation bill.

Sinema criticized progressives for holding up a vote on the bipartisan plan at the beginning of the month.

During his Fox News Sunday appearance, Khanna asked why the rules are "different" for Sinema.

"Why doesn't she go on shows like yours?" he said. "Why doesn't she explain herself?"

He added: "I've never seen a politician, including, frankly, the former president Trump, who just totally ducks answering questions of the media and constituents."

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace agreed, saying: "I'm a little frustrated. We've been trying to get her on the air."

Sinema recently clashed with progressives again after she reportedly said she would not support increasing corporate tax hikes and high-end taxes Democrats expected to use to pay for the $3.5 trillion bill—essentially repealing some tax cuts that were passed by former President Donald Trump.

Khanna questioned why Sinema does not support repealing the tax cuts she once voted against.

"My question for Senator Sinema is, she voted against the Trump tax cuts. I just don't understand why she's not willing then to raise some of the rates back to what they were before the bill she voted against was," he said. "She hasn't explained it to anyone."

Khanna indicated he would be willing to vote for a billionaires tax, which has been considered by Democrats as an alternative to paying for the spending bill. But he also raised concerns about whether it would be enough to pay for the bill, saying it would have to be coupled with a minimum tax, which would require all corporations to pay at least 15 percent in taxes.

Democratic leaders have expressed optimism that a deal could be imminent. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN Sunday that the reconciliation bill would move forward quickly as Democrats hope to pair it with the bipartisan bill by the end of the month.

"We're almost there. It's just the language of it," Pelosi told host Jake Trapper, adding that "90 percent of the bill is agreed to and written."

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Friday that Democrats are "close to finding the sweet spot" on the cost of the bill.

Newsweek reached out to Sinema's office for comment Sunday but had not heard back by publication. This story will be updated with any response.

Rep. Ro Khanna
U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, a California progressive, criticized Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema for not being clear about her beliefs. Here, he is seen in Washington D.C. in April 2019. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images