Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., declined to travel aboard Air Force One with President Joe Biden to her home state Tuesday.
After declining to visit the nation's southern border, Biden planned to visit Phoenix to tour a semiconductor manufacturing plant.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday while aboard Air Force One that the White House had invited Sinema to travel with the president, as is typical for a member of Congress of the same party.
"We always invite, as you know… when we go to a state, the president is always happy to give those congressional members in that state a ride on Air Force One to the state," Jean-Pierre said in response to a question about whether Sinema had been invited. "I can't speak to Sen. Sinema's schedule."
Since becoming a senator in 2019, Sinema has distanced herself from the Democratic Party and has even refused to toe leadership's partisan line.
She blocked partisan plans to abolish the Senate filibuster, preventing Senate Democrats from pushing legislation to the president's desk with only 50 votes.
Sinema declined to campaign for Democrats during the recent midterm election. She was also the only Arizona Democrat to skip a pre-election rally with former President Barack Obama.
Progressives' frustration with Sinema has fueled a likely primary challenge. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., suggested he may try to take down Sinema in 2024.
There is some speculation that Sinema will change parties and become a Republican. She has spoken of her friendship with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and has been praised by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
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