Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday that Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's move from the Democratic Party to independent will not affect control of the upper chamber.
"Sen. Sinema informed me of her decision to change her affiliation to Independent. She asked me to keep her committee assignments and I agreed," The Hill reported Schumer saying in a statement following Sinema's announcement Friday. "Kyrsten is independent; that's how she’s always been. I believe she's a good and effective Senator and am looking forward to a productive session in the new Democratic majority Senate. We will maintain our new majority on committees, exercise our subpoena power, and be able to clear nominees without discharge votes."
Sinema told Politico that she will not be caucusing with Republicans following her switch and does not see much changing in the "Senate structure."
"I don't anticipate that anything will change about the Senate structure," she told the news outlet. "I intend to show up to work, do the same work that I always do. I just intend to show up to work as an independent."
Schumer said that Sinema will continue her present assignments on the Senate Banking, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs, committees, the New York Post reported.
Sinema said in her announcement, through an opinion piece in the Arizona Republic Friday, that she never felt she "fit in" with the two-party system and partisan nature of Congress.
"Like a lot of Arizonans, I have never fit perfectly in either national party," the Post reported her writing. "Becoming an Independent won't change my work in the Senate; my service to Arizona remains the same."
Sinema will likely continue caucusing with the Democrats like Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and like former Sen. Joe Lieberman did after registering independent for his successful 2006 reelection bid against Democrat, and now Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., congratulated Sinema on Twitter for announcing her move.
"Good to see Krysten Sinema leaving the Democrat Party," Boebert said on Twitter. "Just this year we've had [former Rep.] Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hi., and Sen. Sinema — both high profile Democrats — change parties. Hope many more see the light!"
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