Progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) appeared unfazed by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s announcement on Friday morning that she is leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an Independent.
“Bye Felicia,” Bowman said on Twitter. “This isn’t about the party this is about your pharma donors! Stop lying!”
In a video accompanying the tweet, Bowman laughed as he repeated the phrase “Bye Felicia,” and an automated voice read a note that said, “You were never a Democrat anyways.”
Sinema announced the decision to change her party affiliation early Friday morning, saying she had “joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics.”
“Removing myself from the partisan structure — not only is it true to who I am and how I operate, I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country who also are tired of the partisanship,” Sinema told CNN of her decision.
The Arizona senator, along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), was frequently a thorn in Democrats’ side over the last two years, holding up multiple legislative efforts in the tight 50-50 Senate.
In particular, Sinema and Manchin stood in the way of Democrats’ efforts on voter protections.
Sinema has also been blamed by fellow Democrats for limiting the prescription drug pricing reforms that made it into the final version of a law passed earlier this year.
Bowman’s jab about “pharma donors” appears to reference those frustrations with Sinema, who has received more than $700,000 from the pharmaceutical and health products industries throughout her career.
Sinema’s announcement comes just days after Senate Democrats secured a 51-49 majority with Sen. Raphael Warnock’s win in the Georgia runoff election. However, it remains to be seen whether she will join fellow Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine) in caucusing with the Democrats.