Jun 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Sinema says she missed Jan. 6 commission vote for "family matter"

Senator Kyrsten Sinema in the Capitol building in March 2021.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema in the Capitol building in March 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) told AZCentral that she missed a procedural vote on legislation to establish a bipartisan commission to study the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because she had a "family matter."

Why it matters: Sinema was one of two Senate Democrats who skipped the 54-35 vote, which ultimately failed to gain enough support to overcome Senate Republicans' filibuster.

Context: Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) was the other Democrat to miss last week's vote. She said she also had a "personal family matter" to attend to, according to the Seattle Times.

  • Sinema missed the vote despite having issued a joint statement three days before with Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-W.Va.), in which they urged GOP senators to back the bill.

What they're saying: "I had a personal family matter," Sinema told AZCentral, without elaborating.

The big picture: President Biden in a speech in Tulsa on Tuesday expressed frustrations with congressional Democrats, specifically in the Senate.

  • "I hear all the folks on TV saying why doesn't Biden get this done? Because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends," the president said.

Go deeper: Brian Sicknick's partner "disgusted" with Republicans blocking Jan. 6 commission

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