Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has come under scrutiny for utilizing over $200,000 in taxpayer funds for private air travel since 2020. Additionally, Fox also noted that Sinema’s sole in-person town hall took place in 2022 during a visit to Honeywell, an event exclusively attended by employees.

Taxpayer Money

The Daily Beast reported that Sinema incurred incurred $116,000 in private plane expenses in 2023, 

Source: Unsplash/Nohe Pereira

And she charged them to her Senate office budgets. 


Despite being elected as a Democrat in 2018 and later switching to an independent, Sinema apparently didn’t hold any publicly accessible, 

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in-person town hall meetings while incurring these expenses, according to Fox News. 

Since 2020

It is reported that taxpayers have been footing the bill for her air travel since 2020,

Source: Unsplash/Chris Leipelt

Amounting to a shocking $210,000 in cost. 


Fox reported that in 2017, Sinema supported the No Ongoing Perks Enrichment Act, 

Source: Unsplash/Yaroslav Muzychenko

which aimed to “prohibit the use of funds provided for the official travel expenses of Members of Congress and other officers and employees of the legislative branch for first-class airline accommodations.”


Arizona Republic reported, Hannah Hurley, a spokesperson for Sinema, 

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Made a statement that the convenience and effectiveness of air travel are the reasons behind Sinema choosing to fly.


Hurley said in a statement,

Source: YouTube

“Arizonans know it can take hours to get from Prescott to Yuma. Senator Sinema maximizes her time in Arizona to connect with as many constituents in every corner of the state as possible,” 

Senator Mark Kelly

In a report from The Daily Beast, Senator Mark Kelly, the other U.S. senator from Arizona and a Democrat, has not accrued any private plane expenses covered by taxpayers. 

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Jordan Libowitz, from the watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, expressed criticism towards Sinema’s use of flights.

Private Flights

Libowitz said Sinema’s private flights “[play] into this larger thing we’ve seen with her, 

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where she tends to go right up to the line of what she’s able to do with spending other people’s money in the way she would best prefer.”

Budget Management 

He said,

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“This is one of those things that does raise the question of, is this the best way to manage the budget? … Could she be doing more for the state otherwise?” 

Legal Problem 

He continued,

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“She’s seemed pretty good at finding the ways to do it that people are going to see and are not going to like but, generally, don’t rise to the level of being an actual legal problem.”


He said,

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“The dichotomy … shows you what the normal thing is, which is, you get in the car and you drive, especially in a state that has a highway system.” 


Libowitz pointed out that the difference between Kelly and Sinema is notable,

Source: Facebook/Senator Mark Kelly

And shouldn’t be overlooked.


Sinema has yet to make a statement about her intentions to run for a re-election in November. Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego and Republican Kari Lake are both competing for her seat. 

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In a poll conducted in January, Sinema was trailing behind her opponents in a three-way race.