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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) leaves the Capitol for the day in October. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) criticized Democratic leadership in a wide-ranging interview with Politico published Wednesday for making false promises by setting expectations for the social spending bill and other legislation far too high.

Why it matters: Sinema said that the pledges amount to dishonesty with Americans because they are made with the presumption of agreement within the party, which she believes is an unrealistic and potentially hazardous expectation in a diverse democracy.

  • “I've been concerned at the push that happens in both parties, this push to have no disagreements. To only have unity or to only speak with one voice. And some will say, ‘Oh, that is our strength,’” Sinema said.
  • “Having some disagreement is normal. It is real, it is human. And it's an opportunity for us as mature beings to work through it," she added.

Yes, but: Many legislative goals made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have not succeeded because of opposition from Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va).

What they're saying: “You’re either honest or you’re not honest. So just tell the truth and be honest and deliver that which you can deliver,” Sinema said.

  • “There's this growing trend of people in both political parties who promise things that cannot be delivered, in order to get the short-term political gain. And I believe that it damages the long-term health of our democracy," she said.
  • She compared her party's unachievable legislative commitments to Republicans vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act after former President Trump was elected.

Of note: Sinema, who is often seen conversing with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) on the Senate floor, said she had no interest in becoming a Republican.

Go deeper: Poll: Manchin knots Democratic lifelines

Go deeper

"Midnight is approaching” to pass voting rights protections

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Defenders of democracy in America still have a slim window of opportunity to act. But time is ticking away, and midnight is approaching," according to more than 150 top scholars of U.S. democracy in a new push to temporarily suspend the Senate filibuster and pass voting rights protections on a simple majority vote.

Driving the news: Their unified front comes amid a short break in the legislative action on Capitol Hill, with the start of the Thanksgiving recess and after the House passage of President Biden's "Build Back Better" social spending package.

Rep. Jeffries demands filibuster reform to pass voting rights bill

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told “Axios on HBO" that the “integrity of our democracy” is at stake without federal voting rights legislation, and the Senate must seriously consider filibuster reform if it can’t get 60 votes to pass it next year.

What they’re saying: “It's an open question as to whether we can get to 60 votes in the Senate on voting. And if we can't, then the Senate is going to have to make some decisions as it relates to filibuster reform,”Jeffries said.

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.