Sinema’s silence on spending bill vexes many Democrats

While her colleagues dined, Sinema was elsewhere in the Capitol, huddling with White House officials continuing to negotiate on the tax code, climate initiatives and the social safety net, according to two aides. She had met with Biden earlier that day at the White House, and, unbeknown to many House and Senate Democrats, had been engaging in talks with a small handful of colleagues…

But Sinema’s whereabouts on the day of the Senate lunch were emblematic of her actual approach, according to people directly familiar with it: Eschew all but a select few congressional colleagues, focus on negotiating directly with the president and his senior aides, burrow in on policy details — and ignore the frustration of those not privy to her thinking…

“Sen. Sinema is and always has been clear with us,” one White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the talks candidly. The official added that those who say otherwise “are telling on themselves. They’re saying they aren’t close enough to the process to know what they’re talking about.”