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Kyrsten Sinema ditches Senate negotiations for fundraising trip to Europe

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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has emerged as the biggest single roadblock to President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan, left Washington this week for a fundraising trip to Europe.

Sinema, who has drawn criticism from Biden and fellow Senate Democrats for being vague about her demands and refusing to budge on her opposition to increased spending and higher taxes, participated in a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, her spokesman told The New York Times.

A source told the outlet that the fundraiser was in Paris, but it's unclear whether the senator was actually urged to go by party officials. Sinema's office did not say how long she will be away, which countries she is visiting, who is paying for the trip or whether she is also fundraising for her own campaign, though sources told the Times that her team planned to set up meetings in Paris and London. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., the chairman of the DSCC — and like nearly all Democrats, a supporter of Biden's proposal — also traveled to a London fundraiser that charged up to $36,500 per ticket, but Sinema's name did not appear on the invitation for that event.

Lawmakers are barred from raising money from foreign sources, but members of Congress occasionally travel overseas to solicit donations from Americans living abroad, who tend to be affluent and well-connected

Sinema's trip came amid ongoing negotiations over Biden's plan. Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., are the lone Senate holdouts blocking the proposal, which the other 48 Democrats support. (That includes two independents who caucus with Democrats, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.) Sinema spokesman John LaBombard told the Times that she has continued to negotiate.

"So far........

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