Senator Kyrsten Sinema sat out the Boston Marathon on Monday while she continued to recover from a broken foot, her office said, as activists traveled from her home state to Massachusetts to confront the Arizona Democrat about her refusal to support the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan.
Sinema, 45, qualified for the Marathon and attended the race but could not run, John LaBombard, a spokesman for Sinema, said in an e-mail. Sinema, an avid athlete who has run Boston before, broke her foot while running in a Marathon in Washington in June, according to the Arizona Republic.
LaBombard did not say whether Sinema saw or interacted with the activists.
Protesters with the Green New Deal Network stood near the Marathon finish line on Boylston Street holding signs calling for Sinema to support the $3.5 trillion legislation that would expand the nation’s social safety net, increasing spending for health care, education, and the fight against climate change.
On Friday, Sinema’s office denied a report by the New York Times that the senator is seeking to cut at least $100 billion from the Build Back Better plan that is earmarked for climate programs.
“Neither Senator Sinema nor our office have requested or demanded such cuts, nor have we ever heard of any such demands,” LaBombard wrote on Twitter Friday, calling the Times’ report “flat wrong.”
The Sunrise Movement’s Tempe, Ariz., chapter and the Arizona Working Families Party shared photos on social media Monday showing protesters positioned on Boylston Street near the corner of Fairfield Street, holding a yellow banner with black letters that read, “Sinema: Be Brave. Fight For Us” and signs calling for, “Green Jobs Now!” and, “No Cuts to Climate, Care and Justice!”
Last week, the group said activists planned on “bird dogging” Sinema during the race to press her on the issue.
The Green New Deal Network said in a statement that for several months, “Sinema has been ignoring the calls of her constituents to support a bold BBB Act that would address climate change, support dignified care employment, ensure access to housing, and modernize transportation.”
Activists have been publicly confronting Sinema recently to pressure her into supporting the legislation. Earlier this month, immigration activists followed Sinema into a bathroom at Arizona State University, where she is a lecturer, and urged her to back the bill.
Democrats’ hopes for the bill to pass in the evenly split Senate hinge on votes by Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, two moderates in the party who have withheld their support, saying the price needs to be reduced.