PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Late last week, the internet was buzzing about Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema after she cast a vote against the $15 minimum wage with a punctuated thumbs down.
But the anger did not die down over the weekend as critics voiced their anger and disappointment with Arizona's senior senator on social media.
The vote should not have come as a surprise since the Arizona senator made it known that she opposed attaching the wage hike to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
What appeared to set off progressives was the way she voted, giving a thumbs down while bowing in the well on the Senate. Her movements were characterized as cold, given the country's lowest paid workers stood to see their wages more than double from $7.25 an hour or roughly $15,000 a year.
Sinema was one of eight Democratic lawmakers to vote against the measure while the use of hand gestures to signal a vote is common in the upper chamber.
Former attorney general of Arizona, Grant Woods, a one-time Republican turned Democrat, said the controversy is overblown. "She was bouncing around, so what, she's not one of these 90-year-old codgers that are in there who can barely make it to the well," said Woods, who has been a strong supporter of Sinema.
Sinema was a supporter of two previous efforts to boost the minimum wage in Arizona and now says she like to see a federal hike enacted through a stand-alone bill. "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," Sinema said in a statement.