Activists Follow Sinema into Bathroom, Harass Her over Opposition to Reconciliation Package

 During a visit to Arizona State University on Sunday, Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema was harassed by a group of students over her opposition to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

Sinema, a guest lecturer at the university, was cornered by students while entering the bathroom. One of the students stood outside the stall videotaping while urging her to support the mammoth bill and threatening to vote her out of office if she refused.

“We knocked down doors for you to get you elected. And just how we got you elected we can get you out of office if you don’t support what you promised us,” a young Arizona immigrant, who claims she’s undocumented, told the senator.

The female student emphasized the need for a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, a provision which the Democrats strategically included in the reconciliation language but which the Senate parliamentarian rejected in September.

Still, Democrats are lobbying for what they claim to be immigration reform, attempting to nest an amnesty provision into the reconciliation bill, which would grant automatic legal status to millions of illegal aliens and likely increase the budget deficit by billions due to expanded use of the U.S. social safety net.

“In 2010 both my grandparents got deported bc of SB1070…my grandfather passed away 2 wks ago & I wasn’t able to go to Mexico bc there is no pathway to citizenship,” the student said.

Another student in the bathroom claimed she was a human trafficking survivor and emphasized the need for Congress to pass protections for gig economy workers liker herself, which the reconciliation package accounts for.

Tensions are running high for Democrats as the unprecedented reconciliation bill, which would be the largest spending measure in American history, is still pending in the House of Representatives due to ongoing negotiations between the parties. The reconciliation package’s fate is tied up in the status of the $1 trillion infrastructure plan also in the legislative pipeline.

Over 20 representatives in the House progressive caucus have vowed to abandon the infrastructure bill, which a bipartisan coalition took months to iron out, unless the reconciliation bill advances first, an unlikely scenario given Sinema as well as moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s staunch resistance to it.

Given that the reconciliation bill’s passage depends on Manchin and Sinema’s affirmative votes, progressive activists and members of Congress have resorted to intimidation tactics since they haven’t been able to persuade the senators diplomatically. Protesters have kayaked out to Manchin’s house boat in Washington, D.C. to try to engage him in discussion.

So far, neither senator has relented, remaining true to their objections with the bill’s exorbitant $3.5 trillion price tag, which they fear will exacerbate inflation and add to a deeply-entrenched welfare state.

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