A controversial Democrat was heckled by protesters as she used the toilet at a university.
A number of protesters approached Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema at Arizona State University, where she was delivering a lecture.
Centrist Sinema hit headlines recently as she does not support Biden’s $3.5 trillion bill that aims to expand America’s social safety net.
The protesters said they wanted to speak with her, but she told them she was “heading out”. They followed her and tried to engage her in a conversation, with one saying: “We need a Build Back Better plan right now.”
As the senator goes into the cubicle and closes the door, another protester said: “We need solutions and the build back better plan has the solutions that we need.”
A protester, who identified herself as Blanca, said: “We knocked on doors for you to get you elected. Just like we got you elected, we can get you out of office if you don’t support what you promised us.”
Blanca said she was brought to the US when she was 3 years old and claimed that in 2010, both of her grandparents were deported due to SB1070.
Known as the “show me your papers law”, the controversial 2010 act requires law enforcement to ask for someone’s immigration status if they have “reasonable suspicion” that the person may be an illegal immigrant.
Blanca said: “I’m here because I definitely believe that we need a pathway to citizenship.
“My grandfather passed away two weeks ago and I wasn’t able to go to Mexico to visit him because there is no pathway to citizenship. If we have the opportunity to pass it right now then we need to do it because there’s millions of undocumented people just like me who share the same story or even worse things that happen to them because of SB1070 and because of anti-immigrant legislation.”
Blanca added: “We need to hold you accountable to what you promised us you were going to pass when we knocked on doors for you. It’s not right.”
In a later video, the protesters can be seen continuing to follow the senator as she made her way back to her classroom.
Sharing the video to Twitter, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) wrote: “We wouldn’t have to resort to confronting senator Sinema around Phoenix if she took meetings with the communities that elected her. She’s been completely inaccessible. We’re sick of the political games, stop playing with our lives.”
A vote on Biden’s infrastructure bill was due to take place last Thursday but was pulled by speaker Nancy Pelosi. Centrist Democrats had been told they would vote on a bipartisan infrastructure plan worth $1 trillion, regardless of how much progress had been made on Biden’s wider $3.5 trillion social safety net plan.
Both bills are part of Biden’s Build Back Better agenda that aims to lower costs in education, healthcare, and housing. Biden also wants to cut taxes and create jobs as part of the US’ recovery from the pandemic.
In a statement on Saturday, Sinema said: “Good-faith negotiations… require trust. Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly.
“Canceling the infrastructure vote further erodes that trust. More importantly, it betrays the trust the American people have placed in their elected leaders and denies our country crucial investments to expand economic opportunities.”
Another centrist Democrat who is also standing in the way of the bill is West Virginia senator Joe Manchin. Manchin has also been approached by constituents and protesters, with protesters recently kayaking out to his $250,000 boat to confront him.