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National and Arizona business leaders urge Sinema, Kelly to reject budget reconciliation

By Ben Giles
Published: Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 5:55pm
Updated: Friday, December 17, 2021 - 7:55am

Business leaders with the state and local chambers of commerce are urging Arizona’s senators — particularly Kyrsten Sinema — to reject President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion social and climate spending plan.

With support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, officials launched an ad campaign urging Sinema, as well as Sen. Mark Kelly, to tank the budget reconciliation bill, which requires the support of all 50 Democratic senators to pass.

Business leaders made appeals specific to Sinema, who they praised for working in a bipartisan manner to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill earlier this year. Neil Bradley, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber, said the Senate should set aside the Biden reconciliation bill and craft a wholly new spending plan in a similar, bipartisan fashion.

kyrsten sinema and mark kelly
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Mark Kelly in KJZZ's studio in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Senate Democratic leaders had planned to pass the bill before the holiday, but West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin remains the key holdout on the bill, according to NPR.

But Bradley said any one senator could decide the fate of the president’s agenda.

“Arizona, of its two senators — it happens to have two senators who are gonna decide the fate of what happens,” he said.

Todd Sanders, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, said the overall price tag is a part of what has business leaders alarmed. Sanders said it could also be worse than advertised — programs like an extension of the child tax credit may cost less now because of built-in sunsets, but will likely be extended and cost more over time.

“That definitely causes some concerns,” Sanders said. “At least we should know from the get-go what that price is gonna be.”