Five military veterans resigned from a board advising Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) on policy issues on Thursday and called her an obstacle to progress, according to the New York Times.
“You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people. We shouldn’t have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming,” the five advisors wrote in the letter.
“As members of your Veterans Advisory Council for years, we’re deeply concerned by your failure to acknowledge us or seek our input. Today, we feel as though we are merely given performative titles and used as window dressing for your own image—not as resources to provide counsel on what’s best for veterans,” the group continued. “Given your complete disregard for our input and your unwillingness to act on behalf of your constituents’ needs, we respectfully resign from your Veterans Advisory Council.”
Sinema is facing growing criticism from Democrats in Arizona, Congress and across the country for her opposition to President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending bill. Her opposition to the package will likely see it reduce by a $1 trillion as she opposes a number of elements in the bill that is popular among Democrats, like raising taxes on the rich to pay for the package.
“Nobody knows what she is thinking because she doesn’t tell anybody anything,” Sylvia González Andersh, one of the veterans who resigned, told the Times. “It’s very sad to think that someone who you worked for that hard to get elected is not even willing to listen.”
In response to the letter, Sinema’s said in a statement that she valued the five former members’ views.
“We appreciate their diverse views, contributions to legislation, and participation in veteran outreach events,” she said according to the Hill. “While it is unfortunate that apparent disagreement on separate policy issues has led to this decision, I thank them for their service and will continue working every day to deliver for Arizona’s veterans who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and secure.”