March 24, 2023

A year and a half after she voted against raising the minimum wage, Senator Kyrsten Sinema released a statement marking Labor Day without mentioning unions or raising the minimum wage.

The conservative Arizona Democrat issued a statement on Tuesday that referred to small businesses and workers.

“As Arizonans, we know that small businesses and Arizona workers are the backbone of our state’s economy – providing essential services to families, creating economic opportunity and, in short, making our state the best place in the nation to raise a family … a better life,” her statement said. “I’m also proud of the work we’re doing as Arizona workers and employers recover from the pandemic and create more opportunities to thrive in our communities.”

The senator also mentioned record inflation in the statement.

“As we all know, our state has been one of the hardest hit by record inflation and rising costs — that’s why we’ve worked so hard to make sure Arizonans can keep more of their money in their pockets, Arizona businesses can develop and create jobs,” she said.

She went on to tout a number of pieces of legislation she claimed would empower the workforce, such as the bipartisan Infrastructure​ Act she negotiated, as well as the CHIPS and Science Act and Inflation Reduction Act. Ms. Sinema’s support for the last piece of legislation is uncertain, a massive climate and health care bill negotiated by conservative Democrat Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Last year, Ms. Sinema angered many of her fellow Democrats by opposing an amendment to the U.S. rescue package, President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 relief.although eight other members Members of the Democratic caucus also opposed the amendment, and she received the most criticism when C-SPAN footage showed her curtseying during the vote.

Instead, Sen. Mark Kelly, who is running for re-election in Arizona this year, mentioned the union in his statement.

“Each of us should thank the labor movement for the protections and standards we enjoy today, such as weekends and 40-hour workweeks,” he tweeted.

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