Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is standing in the way of plans to raise taxes on high earners, corporations, and capital gains in the spending package, forcing Democrats to figure out alternative ways to fund the bill.
According to Politico, Sinema’s position on the issue “appears like a red line” Democratic lawmakers must not cross.
“This is a guessing game with Senator Sinema. Yeah, we're all supposed to be on the same team. And that means transparency, communication and collaboration. Without it, it makes this significantly more challenging,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), according to Politico. “I don't know what the red lines are for one U.S. senator who has an amazing amount of power.”
While Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have both been a thorn in Democrats' side over the price tag of the $3.5 trillion package and other key components in the bill, Manchin has indicated he's open to raising tax rates, unlike Sinema.
Among the options under discussion to satisfy Sinema include targeting hundreds of billionaires who don’t pay taxes on their unrealized gains — a move that's known as “mark to market.” Party leaders are also discussing taxing stock buybacks, installing a minimum corporate tax and focusing more on international corporate tax reform. They also believe they can raise significant revenue through increased IRS enforcement and closing tax loopholes.
Many Democrats would rather not dance around their goals by enacting more complicated proposals than those Sinema has rejected. But they may have no other choice: Democrats said she’s the primary, and in some cases sole, impediment to raising the rates they’ve been campaigning against for years. (Politico)
Sinema has made her positions clear with the White House but has largely declined to comment publicly.