TEMPE, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and her students at Arizona State University were confronted and filmed Sunday while in the bathroom by an activist group that claims the senator is "inaccessible" to her constituents.
In response, President Joe Biden said he doesn't think "they're appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody."
Sinema along with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia are the only two Democrats that have shown opposition to Biden's $3.5 trillion federal government overhaul, saying the price tag is too large.
Just days after Sinema's public opposition, she said several people disrupted her class at ASU after "deceptively" entering one of the school's buildings. Sinema said the individuals filmed and posted videos online of them, including footage of her and her students in the bathroom.
Sinema said she has engaged with the activist group she encountered Sunday several times and that she will continue to interact with them.
“Yesterday's behavior was not legitimate protest," Sinema said in a news release.
“In the 19 years I have been teaching at ASU, I have been committed to creating a safe and intellectually challenging environment for my students. Yesterday, that environment was breached. My students were unfairly and unlawfully victimized. This is wholly inappropriate."
LUCHA Arizona tweeted out this comment Sunday afternoon.
"We wouldn't have to resort to confronting @senatorsinema around Phx if she took meetings with the communities that elected her," the tweet read. "She's been completely inaccessible. We're sick of the political games, stop playing with our lives. 'Build back better, back the bill!'"
When asked if he thought the tactics used by activists to pressure Sinema were crossing the line, Biden said "the only people it doesn't happen to are people who have secret service standing around them so it's part of the process."
Sinema and Manchin said Biden’s plan is too big but are publicly quiet about a number they can live with.
Biden met privately with Manchin and Sinema at the White House Tuesday — as Congress was also racing to prevent a federal shutdown and debt default.
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