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Democratic Senator Sinema votes against raising federal minimum wage with a big thumbs down

Kyrsten SinemaStefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona let her voice be heard in a resounding way Friday with a big, literal thumbs down to adding a raise in the federal minimum wage to the COVID-19 relief bill.

The moment when Sinema walked to the front of the Senate chamber and cast her vote on Friday went viral. The proposal was for the gradual increase of the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 over the course of five years.

Some people are lashing out at Sinema because of her adamant vote and are bringing up how she said a minimum wage increase was a “no brainer” in 2014 on Twitter.


She also reportedly came to the vote with a large chocolate cake in tow, which gave off Marie Antoinette “let them eat cake” vibes to some on Twitter.

Sinema said she was voting against the measure because she thought it should be handled separately from the relief legislation.

Sinema wasn’t the sole Democratic senator who voted against the proposal. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire; Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons; West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, and Senator Jon Tester of Montana all took a stance against the measure.

Sinema’s office has called the outcry against the first-term senator sexist.

“Commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet,” Sinema spokesperson Hannah Hurley said to HuffPost.

Her move to give a thumbs down reminded some of how late Republican senator John McCain, also from Arizona, gave a memorable thumbs down vote against the repeal of provisions within the Affordable Care Act in 2017.

The Globe wire services were used in this report.

Lauren Booker can be reached at lauren.booker@globe.com.