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Thursday, February 2, 2023

A senator’s defection tarnishes Democrats’ success

The math doesn’t always add up. Within hours of Rev. Raphael Warnock’s victory for a Senate seat in Georgia on Tuesday, House Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “51 is better than 49.” There are 100 seats in the United States Senate.

If asked this Friday, Schumer would have serious doubts about the answer. Warnock’s resounding victory has already been called “Kirsten Sinema’s Independence Day”.

Balance of power not expected to change, but it gives Manchin more power again

The rebel senator from Arizona, who has already given President Joe Biden some headaches, has caused an earthquake in US politics when it comes to prodding the legislature, which could announce a change in the configuration of forces in the chamber. He is leaving the Democratic Party and becoming an independent, without clarifying what role he will play or what the outcome will be.

“In a natural extension of my service since being elected to Congress, I have joined a growing number of Arizonans rejecting partisan politics by declaring their independence and formally registering as an independent,” he tweeted.

In his argument, expressed in social networks and some media, he pointed out that he had lost faith in parties, that he preferred “common sense solutions rather than the principle of political parties”.

Sinema told Schumer about his decision on Thursday, before starting this new storm. Democrats would retain the majority, with Vice Speaker Kamala Harris and her casting vote serving as Speaker of the House. But there are always uncertainties. “I don’t think anything will change in the composition of the Senate,” Sinema said on CNN. “I will continue to do the same things as always,” he insisted.

Congressman in his first term, Sinema has fueled an infamous split in Democratic ranks these two years

A congressman in his first term, Sinema led an infamous rift in Democratic ranks over these two years. Although he did not explicitly confirm that he is associated with caucus (group) Democrats, he denied he was going to join the Republicans, so conservatives would remain in the minority in the seats.

The balance of power would not change on the surface and Sinema, according to his aides, would continue to receive his allocation from the Democratic caucus. Bernie Sanders and August King are also listed as independents. “We understand that the decision for Arizona to register as an independent does not change the new Democratic majority control of the Senate and we have every reason to hope that we will continue to work with it,” Karine Jean- Pierre, said the White House press secretary.

However, it was not lost on anyone that it again offered Democratic Senator Joe Manchin a starring role. If Warnock’s victory dimmed his limelight, his ally’s decision again put him in a position of power.

Ek Sinema, whose term ends in 2024, already had leftist rivals in the state.

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