Congress finally passed a $1.9 trillion plan to bring financial relief to people impacted by the still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, a big step in Joe Biden fulfilling campaign promises despite not a single Republican voting for the bill to make it happen.
One person who did vote in order to get it passed was Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat who drew the ire of progressives on Friday when she vehemently voted against one measure, which would include in the bill a measure to effectively raise the minimum wage in America to $15 an hour for millions of workers. It wasn’t just that the Democrat didn’t support a very popular measure that could lift many Americans out of poverty, but in that she performatively voted no by striking a pose while giving a thumbs down.
The move, along with bringing cake to the Senate floor, drew plenty of outrage against the senator. And that carried into the weekend when she tweeted about frontline workers on Saturday. Sharing a New York Times video about the dangerous and tiring jobs many frontline workers have had during the pandemic, Sinema saw thousands of negative replies and quote tweets pointing out that she had just voted against actually compensating millions of those same workers.
Wow. Incredibly grateful for Arizona’s frontline workers caring for our loved ones during the pandemic. https://t.co/PtoG93ZcmL
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) March 6, 2021
“Wow. Incredibly grateful for Arizona’s frontline workers caring for our loved ones during the pandemic,” she wrote on Twitter. The message was immediately seized upon, with basically everyone making the same point: if she wanted to thank employees like that, she could have helped get them paid.
But…not *that* grateful really
— david cross✍ (@davidcrosss) March 6, 2021
Not so grateful that you want them to be fairly paid… but, hey, a Twitter post is something.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) March 6, 2021
Then give them some money.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) March 6, 2021
As several pointed out, many of those same frontline employees make minimum wage, and after a year of work in a pandemic, paying them a living wage is the least you could do as someone in power.
You know how you could really thank Arizona's frontline workers @SenatorSinema?
Essential workers comprise about half of all workers in low-paid occupations. They deserve a $15 minimum wage.https://t.co/uFloT992kL
— Take A Stand (@RepresentMeAZ) March 6, 2021
A lot of people shared a stylized image of her voting no for the measure on Friday.
Wow! (Picture unrelated) pic.twitter.com/wR77cxRJ06
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) March 6, 2021
Many people are posting this picture. What does it mean? pic.twitter.com/GCGxqlAQQQ
— I'M DA JOEKER BABY (@TheNotoriousBTB) March 6, 2021
Some shared images of her cheering for Donald Trump at a State of the Union address.
Look who’s applauding Arizona’s frontline workers oh wait no that’s you fervently applauding Trump’s state of the union address a year ago pic.twitter.com/sSUePgiCPG
— Nanbody 🌍🍃🐜 (@windupgorilla) March 6, 2021
It’s unlikely to change her mind, and the more important news is that many Americans did get relief from Congress on Saturday. But it wasn’t a very sharp moment for Sinema on social media, making an already bad week for the Arizona politician just a little bit worse.