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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema arrives at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 30. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in a statement Monday called the actions of activists who confronted her at Arizona State University this weekend, including while she used the restroom "wholly inappropriate."

Driving the news: Activists from Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) confronted Sinema on Sunday outside a classroom at ASU, urging her to pass President Biden's soft infrastructure reconciliation bill, the Washington Post reported.

  • In videos posted to social media, the group followed her into a restroom, chanting "Build back better, back the bill!”
  • "We knocked on doors to get you elected," one activist said in the video.

What she's saying: Sinema said that she and her staff have met with LUCHA on a number of previous occasions since being elected, but "yesterday's behavior was not legitimate protest."

  • "It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom," Sinema said.
  • "This is wholly inappropriate."

Biden separately on Monday said he doesn't think the tactics are "appropriate ... but it happens to everybody."

  • "The only people it doesn’t happen to are people who have Secret Service standing around them. So it’s part of the process," Biden said when asked by reporters about the confrontation.

The big picture: Sinema, alongside Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), has been one of the holdouts in negotiations over the reconciliation bill.

  • LUCHA tweeted Sunday that they wouldn't have to "resort to confronting" Sinema "if she took meetings with the communities that elected her."
  • "She's been completely inaccessible," the organization said.

Go deeper

Oct 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rich tax may flunk

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The "billionaire tax" and other revenues Democrats want to pay for President Biden's $2 trillion social safety net expansion are about to face a math test from a notoriously hard grader: the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Why it matters: The budget reconciliation instructions require the Senate Finance Committee to offset all the spending it authorizes with the same amount of revenue. Hot air from House and Senate leaders about pay-fors will be replaced by the joint committee's cold arithmetic — and the result is in doubt.

50 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

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