The Slatest

Manchin, Sinema Increasingly Receive Campaign Contributions From Republican Donors

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (R), D-AZ, departs from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on October 28, 2021.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (R), D-AZ, departs from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on October 28, 2021. MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Turns out that being an essential vote to get Democratic initiatives through Congress is good for the bottom line. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona may be getting lots of hate from Democrats for their successful efforts to tone down President Joe Biden’s agenda, but they’re getting a lot of love from across the aisle. And that love translates into big donations from unlikely sources, reports the New York Times. Many of the donors that are opening their wallets for Sinema and Manchin have never donated to Democrats before and are giving the money to the two senators because they approve of the way they are managing to reshape Democratic priorities.

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The numbers largely speak for themselves. Sinema raised $2.6 million in the first nine months of the year, which was two and a half times more than in the same period last year. Manchin’s increase is even more stark as his campaign raised $3.3 million, a whopping 14 times more than in January-September last year. The senators have the same campaign finance consultant who ha helped put together the fundraisers with Republican donors.

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The huge fundraising haul comes at a time when Sinema and Manchin have positioned themselves as the key votes in the massive social spending bill that is currently making its way through Congress. The bill was at $3.5 trillion but largely due to Manchin has shrunk to around $2 trillion and it could get even smaller. Sinema, meanwhile, has been largely responsible for forcing Democrats to rewrite the bill so that the spending measures will no longer be paid for by tax-rate increases on the wealthy and corporations.

The Times talks to some billionaires who are traditionally Republican donors who openly say they are giving money to Sinema and Manchin to help their efforts to trim the Democratic agenda. Manchin and Sinema have also received cash from donors with ties to the finance and pharmaceutical industries and they were key to changing portions of the social spending bill that the industry opposed.

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