Sinema Shakes up the Senate with Party Affiliation Change

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who often frustrated Democrats by being a holdout on major priorities, made the split official.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced on Friday she is switching her party affiliation from Democrat to independent, in a shakeup following a resounding victory for Democrats in the midterm elections.

“When politicians are more focused on denying the opposition party a victory than they are on improving Americans’ lives, the people who lose are everyday Americans,” Sinema wrote in an op-ed in the Arizona Republic. “That’s why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.”

Democrats will still control the upper chamber in the next Congress. But with the move, that control may be diluted, and put more power in the hands of moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who has had major sway in the Senate for the last two years.

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