Vice President Kamala Harris recently hosted a bipartisan dinner party for female members of the U.S. Senate, and, according to the Washington Examiner, only a single lawmaker from her own party – Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema – declined the invitation in what may have been an intentional snub.
The soiree was held at the Naval Observatory in the nation’s capital, which also serves as the Vice President’s official residence. Guests in attendance feasted on summer salad, roasted mahi-mahi, herbed rice, grilled vegetables, and a strawberry-rhubarb dessert, as Politico noted. Harris even whipped up a batch of cheese puffs, which Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) described as “so good.”
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) June 16, 2021
According to Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Harris was a warm and welcoming host, but that she did not engage in conversation related to serious policy questions of the day, as the New York Post reported.
Blackburn later suggested to Fox News host Sean Hannity, however, that she would have been happy to talk shop at the party, remarking, “…if she had brought up policies, I would’ve loved to have said, ‘Madam Vice President, you need to get to the border. You need to talk to the Border Patrol,’” referencing Harris’ stubbornly hand-off approach to the migrant crisis she was tapped by the president to oversee.
Just two other senators, Republicans Cindy Hyde-Smith and Cynthia Lummis, declined their invitations to the event, and while they did not provide a public reason for not attending, they are both well known for their staunch opposition to Biden administration policies, the Examiner added.
For her part, Sinema had just broken her foot while participating in a marathon, as The Hill reported, and a spokesperson for the senator confirmed that as a key reason she stayed away from the dinner, in which 15 female Democrats and 6 GOP legislators joined.
If Sinema had decided to appear at the party, awkwardness may well have ensued, given that she, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) continue to stand in the way of liberal Democrats who support eliminating the chamber’s filibuster rules, something that would facilitate passage of many far-left agenda items with a simple majority.
Despite intense pressure on both senators to accede to those wishing to end the filibuster, Sinema has – to her great credit – remained unmoved, explaining earlier this year, “When you have a place that’s broken and not working, and many would say that’s the Senate today, I don’t think the solution is to erode the rules. I think the solution is for senators to change their behavior and begin to work together, which is what the country wants us to do.”