Oil Industry Lobbying Group Funded “Dark Money” Ads for Conservative Democrats

This article was produced by Sludge, an independent, ad-free investigative news site covering money in politics. Click here to support Sludge. A “dark money” group that spent millions of dollars this year on ads supporting conservative Democrats, including Reps. Henry Cuellar and Kurt Schrader, was funded by oil and gas industry lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute, Sludge has discovered. The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) 990 tax form for 2021 shows it paid more than $3.5 million to the Better Jobs Together Campaign, an opaque Virginia corporation that was formed in April 2021, for advocacy services it performed as an…

McConnell Gushes Over Sinema’s Push to Hand GOP Even More Filibuster Power

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., heaped praise on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Monday after she resisted her party’s calls to reform the filibuster and helped Republicans block much of President Joe Biden’s first-term agenda. The Republican leader appeared alongside Sinema at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, touting the Democrat as “extraordinarily effective” and a “genuine moderate.” At one point McConnell lauded her as “the most effective first-term senator I’ve seen in my time in the Senate.” “She is today what we have too few of in the Democratic Party, a genuine, moderate, and a dealmaker,” McConnell…

Sinema Says Filibuster Should Be Expanded to Make It Harder to Confirm Judges

At an event with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) on Monday, embattled conservative Democrat Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) said that she wants to expand the use of the filibuster, an arcane Senate rule that she’s used as an excuse to block her own party’s legislative efforts over the past two years. In a speech, Sinema emphasized her commitment to keeping the anti-democratic filibuster in an event on the supposed importance of bipartisanship at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. She said, falsely, that the filibuster increases bipartisanship and that it should be expanded for that reason, although opponents…

Private Equity and Hedge Fund Industries Pour Over $347 Million Into Midterms

Federal committees reported receiving nearly $347.7 million during the 2022 midterm election cycle from private equity and hedge fund employees and PACs, an OpenSecrets analysis of Federal Election Commission disclosures available on Aug. 15 found. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) made headlines in August for her stalwart opposition to a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act — signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16 — that would have closed the carried interest tax loophole. The existing loophole allows private equity executives and some hedge fund managers to claim large portions of their income as investment gains at a…

Sinema Met With Her Many Private Equity Friends Ahead of IRA Vote

Last week, Democrats in the Senate and House managed to pass the Inflation Reduction Act — a significant tax, climate, and health care package — but only after appeasing one senator from Arizona by allowing an ongoing tax loophole for investment executives. For years, lawmakers have attempted to close the carried interest loophole, an income tax arrangement that favors investment managers at private equity, hedge fund, and venture capital firms by allowing them to pay lower taxes — at a rate based on capital gains as opposed to their actual income from labor. Once Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)…

Schumer: Inflation Reduction Act Has Votes to Pass After Concessions to Sinema

Conservative Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) announced on Thursday that she will support the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) after Democratic leaders agreed to take out proposals to raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy in order to fund the bill. Sinema said in a statement that, after the Senate parliamentarian reviews the budget package, she will “move forward” with the bill. With Sinema’s support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says that the Senate now has all 50 Democrats on board to pass the bill via a simple majority vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris’s vote being the 51st.…

Sinema Kills Plan to Codify Abortion Rights While Fundraising on Protecting Them

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., on Thursday sent out a fundraising email touting her work to protect women’s health care after shooting down President Joe Biden’s proposal to codify abortion rights. Biden on Thursday called for the Senate to support a filibuster carveout to pass a federal law ensuring the right to an abortion. “The most important thing … we have to change — I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law,” Biden said during a news conference at the NATO summit in Madrid. “And the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes…

Warren Says US Is Just Two Anti-Filibuster Democrats Away From Codifying “Roe”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is calling on voters to elect just two more lawmakers to join Senate Democrats this fall, in order to secure enough votes for filibuster reform or abolition with the goal of enshrining federal abortion protections into law. In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Warren said that while there are number of actions that lawmakers can take right now to expand and protect abortion access, one of the widest-reaching actions that voters can take is to elect lawmakers to overcome conservative Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Arizona) opposition to filibuster reform in the…

Sanders Says He’s Open to Supporting Primary Challengers to Manchin and Sinema

Ahead of a crucial vote to amend the filibuster to support voting rights, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has said that he would be open to supporting candidates levying a primary challenge to conservative Democrats Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona). Sanders told reporters on Tuesday that he would consider backing primary challenges to the two filibuster holdouts when they’re up for reelection. The senators, who are basking in the praise and political contributions from conservative groups, stand in the way of nearly every Democratic priority currently before Congress. The Senate’s protracted battle on the filibuster is coming…

Progressives Rail Against Sinema For Choosing Filibuster Over Voting Rights

On what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 93rd birthday, voting rights advocates and progressive lawmakers rallied in Arizona on Saturday to target the first-term Democratic senator blocking legislation aimed at strengthening ballot access amid growing GOP-led suppression efforts. In attendance at Saturday’s demonstrations in Phoenix were members of the King family, which is planning to lead a march to Washington, D.C. on MLK Day with a simple message to lawmakers: “No celebration without legislation.” Referring to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) Thursday speech defending the 60-vote legislative filibuster, Martin Luther King III argued Saturday that “what she said is,…

Sanders Says Manchin and Sinema Are Undermining US Democracy

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday that by vowing to uphold the archaic Senate rule standing in the way of voting rights legislation, his Senate colleagues Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are putting “the future of American democracy” at risk. “It is a sad day when two members of the Democratic caucus are prepared to allow the Freedom to Vote Act to fail,” the Vermont senator tweeted. “I hope very much they will reconsider their positions.” Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) opposition to weakening the 60-vote filibuster rule — a stance they reiterated Thursday — effectively tanks their party’s hopes of…

Critics Lambaste Sinema’s Opposition to Filibuster Changes

During a Thursday speech on the Senate floor, conservative Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) announced that she would not support changing the filibuster rule, potentially dooming any chance of voting rights legislation being passed in the foreseeable future. On Thursday, Sinema claimed that the filibuster debate was “harried,” adding that she believed that there “could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year.” Her comments ignore several months of discussion (and weeks of negotiations) on the subject, both inside and outside of the Senate. Sinema also claimed that she isn’t opposed to…

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