Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said she does not support the $3.5 trillion price tag of Democrats' sweeping reconciliation bill, a new hang up sure to anger lower-chamber lawmakers who won't pass the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure framework without their accompanying budget package, The Arizona Republic and The Daily Beast report. In fact, one notable caucus member — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — has already come out swinging.
"Good luck tanking your own party's investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you'll survive a three vote House margin," tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, reminding Sinema that these negotiations are tit-for-tat across Senate and House Democrats. "Especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a 'bipartisan accomplishment.'"
Sinema said that while she supports beginning the reconciliation process, she does not "support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion," per The Arizona Republic. Her reservations combined with those of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) bode poorly for the package as it stands, considering all 50 Democratic senators must be on board to move it forward. The package is expected to invest in climate initiatives, child care, heath care, and education, per CNBC.
As NBC News' Benjy Sarlin notes, however, Sinema's opposition may help her "shore up" some upper chamber Republican support ahead of Wednesday's infrastructure test vote. And that said, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) mused today that he was "very pleased" with the development.
It remains to be seen how this will affect negotiations overall, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has previously emphasized "she will not take up either measure until the Senate passes both of them," per CNBC.