Sinema slammed for taking donations from banks, debt collectors after opposing minimum wage increase

The Arizona Democrat sided with Senate Republicans against increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour

Published May 9, 2021 9:29AM (EDT)

Kysten Sinema (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Kysten Sinema (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is facing backlash for the campaign donations she received from banks and political action committees (PACs) working on behalf of debt collectors. The money was reportedly donated after Sinema sided with Republicans opposing the $15/hour minimum wage proposed under President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Sinema received $4,000 in donations just three days after she voted against the minimum wage increase. Newsweek reports that Sinema's donors include:

Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley donated $2,000 to Sinema. The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACPAC) as well as the Commercial Law League, two PACs representing debt collectors, each donated $1,000 to Sinema.

The publication also notes that none of the donors are located in Sinema's home state of Arizona. Stanley resides in New York. ACPAC, described as a "third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates" is located in Washington, D.C. The Commercial Law League has a location listed in Illinois.

Those three groups contributed approximately 20% of the donations Sinema received in the days following her opposing vote. The Arizona lawmaker also saw a substantial increase in donations from individual donors. Those donations totaled $26,653.58.

In wake of the latest reports, Sinema is facing deep criticism from Twitter users who are frustrated by her continued support of Republican-backed policies. In fact, she is now being categorized with Sen. Joe Manchin (R-Va.) who has also been accused of similar actions.

Amid intense scrutiny, Sinema's office released a statement. Although she voted against the minimum wage legislation, she admitted no one should be living in poverty with full-time employment. However, the Democratic lawmaker also suggested that she voted against the bill because she believes it should be "separate from the COVID-focused reconciliation bill."

"No person who works full time should live in poverty," Sinema said. "Senators in both parties have shown support for raising the federal minimum wage and the Senate should hold an open debate and amendment process on raising the minimum wage, separate from the COVID-focused reconciliation bill."

By Meaghan Ellis

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Aggregate Campaign Finance Kyrsten Sinema Minimum Wage