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Kyrsten Sinema Didn’t Always Oppose Taxing the Rich

When Donald Trump was in office, Kyrsten Sinema opposed his “huge tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations.” But Democrats are now weighing taxing the rich — and Sinema is suddenly opposed.

Kyrsten Sinema during a Senate Committee on Finance hearing on October 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Rod Lamkey — Pool / Getty Images)

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is attempting to single-handedly block Democrats from paring back Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations to fund their health care, climate, and anti-poverty reconciliation bill — even though she voted against those Trump tax cuts in the House and then campaigned against them during her Senate bid.

Politico reported Wednesday that “Sinema remains opposed to one of the party’s chief goals of raising tax rates on high-income earners and corporations,” adding that this “increasingly appears like a red line” for the senator. The Wall Street Journal separately reported that Sinema “has told lobbyists that she is opposed to any increase in those rates.”

Neither story mentioned that Sinema voted no on the Trump tax cuts as a House lawmaker and also opposed them during her 2018 campaign for Senate.

“A broken Congress failed again to deliver for hardworking Arizonans,” Sinema said of the tax law when it passed in late 2017. “Arizonans want fiscally responsible tax reform that gives families a chance to get ahead.” She added: “I’m ready to fix the problems and mistakes that will inevitably become clear as we learn more about the harmful consequences of this rushed and partisan tax bill.”

Sinema did vote to make the Trump law’s individual tax cuts permanent in September 2018.

But a few weeks later, during the final days of her Senate campaign, Sinema ran a digital ad criticizing the Trump tax law, attacking Trump and her Republican opponent Martha McSally for supporting “huge tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations at the expense of our middle class.”

Another Sinema ad on Facebook said: “Why would McSally and Trump cut taxes for the wealthiest and deny women and children access to affordable and safe health care? Because they don’t work for us. Our vote can elect someone who will. Vote Kyrsten Sinema for US Senate.”

Sinema also criticized the Trump tax law during a debate with McSally on the grounds that it significantly increased the federal deficit.

“First, it increased our deficit by what we thought would be $1.9 trillion,” she said. “It turns out from that report this morning that could even be higher.”