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Op-Ed: We Won’t Be Distracted. Senator Sinema Must Stop Blocking the Build Back Better Bill

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

By Alejandra Gomez, Co-Executive Director of LUCHA

Too often in the halls of Congress, policy debates are sidelined for personality disputes or arguments about how working people should make their voices heard.

Here in Arizona, people are still struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic, seniors still can’t afford their prescriptions, and undocumented people still don’t have a pathway to citizenship. Those issues are in the front of our minds, not the parlor games of the powerful in the Senate.

That’s why we, the members of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), refuse to be distracted by debates around how or when people should try to talk to their elected officials.

The Build Back Better Act, known as the reconciliation bill in Congress, represents the single greatest investment in Arizona we’ve seen come out of Washington in decades.

The legislation addresses all the massive intertwined crises so many of us are facing. It includes the largest-ever federal action to address the climate crisis. It will create millions of new jobs to address the unemployment crisis. It will provide more affordable homes to address our housing crisis.

Yet, one of our senators from Arizona who we worked so hard to elect, Kyrsten Sinema, is blocking this bill, despite 48 of her fellow Democratic Senators all supporting the legislation.

LUCHA registered new voters and organized door-knocking across Arizona to elect Krysten Sinema. We put in that effort because we knew we needed a Democrat in the Senate to push forward important legislation. We finally have a majority in the Senate, but now President Biden’s agenda is being obstructed, not by Republicans, but by the very Democrat we worked so hard to elect.

Adding insult to injury, Senator Sinema is not only ignoring her constituents when asked why she is blocking this bill, she won’t even tell her fellow senators what she wants out of negotiations.

Senator Sinema’s silence is deafening. At a time when families across Arizona are facing unprecedented challenges, this obstruction from Senator Sinema is simply unacceptable.

That is why we are refusing to be distracted from the goal at hand: Passing the Build Back Better bill.

This week, we will be joining with grassroots organizations across the state, and country, to launch the “No More Excuses” Week of Action. We will be holding marches, rallies, and more to highlight the need for action.

If you believe there are no more excuses for blocking President Biden’s agenda, no more excuses for delivering real, immediate relief for working families in Arizona and across the country, join us this week. Make your voice heard and demand action.

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