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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

Go deeper

Sep 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive poll: Americans favor Manchin's "strategic pause"

Expand chart
Data: No Labels; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Six in 10 Americans favor the call by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for a “strategic pause” on Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending plan, according to new polling by the bipartisan policy group No Labels shared with Axios.

Why it matters: The survey of 974 registered voters, conducted Tuesday, is the latest flash point in the fight over infrastructure — and how aggressively Democrats should move on a budget reconciliation package to allow them to enact key planks of President Biden's agenda without a single GOP vote.

Sep 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Go time on infrastructure

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The fight over President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package begins for real on Capitol Hill at 10am Thursday as the first of several committees starts hashing out details of the mammoth infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The legislative marathon comes amid Democrats' internal squabbling that underscores just how tough it could be for Biden to get something across the finish line.

8 mins ago - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.