WASHINGTON — Five veterans tapped to advise Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., resigned from their posts Thursday, publicly accusing her of “hanging your constituents out to dry” in the latest sign of growing hostility toward a centrist who has emerged as a key holdout on President Joe Biden’s agenda.
In a scathing letter obtained by The New York Times, the veterans took Sinema to task for her refusal to abolish the filibuster and her opposition to parts of Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social safety net, education, climate and tax plan, stances that have stymied some of his top priorities.
“You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people,” the veterans wrote in a letter that is to be featured in a new advertisement by Common Defense, a progressive veterans’ activist group that has targeted Sinema.
“We shouldn’t have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming,” they added.
Progressive activists have stepped up their campaign to push Democrats to do away with the filibuster so they can muscle Biden’s priorities through Congress on simple majority votes, and they have trained their anger on Sinema and another centrist holdout, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
The veterans who are making a public divorce from her Thursday have sat on Sinema’s advisory council since 2019, as part of a group of 20 she selected as her office’s liaison to the Arizona service member community.
Sinema said in a statement that she would “always remain grateful for these individuals’ service to our nation” and had valued their input to her work.
“While it is unfortunate that apparent disagreement on separate policy issues has led to this decision,” she said, “I thank them for their service and will continue working every day to deliver for Arizona’s veterans who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and secure.”
Critics have blasted Sinema’s ties to corporate interests, including the financial and advertising support she has received from groups funded by the pharmaceutical industry and other business interests.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.