It took a lot of negotiating, but President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) worked out a budget/debt ceiling agreement that passed in the House before going to the Senate for consideration. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) came to a bipartisan understanding as well, and they were able to get enough members of their caucuses on board for it to pass.
According to Politico reporters Burgess Everett and Jennifer Haberkorn, two centrists who played influential behind-the-scenes roles in the battle to get a debt ceiling bill passed were Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Arizona) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).
In an article published on June 2, Everett and Haberkorn report, "Many people in Washington were surprised when May's debt ceiling negotiations quickly narrowed down to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, his lieutenants and top White House aides. Not Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.). In fact, it was sort of her idea…. The deal was pretty much exactly where the two senators hoped everything would end up — alienating only the far right and left and empowering the center."
Sinema, a former Democrat turned independent, doesn't give a lot of interviews. But she spoke to Politico, saying, "I did suggest to the White House that meetings would be more productive if the people who actually had the authority to make a deal and deliver the votes were the only ones in the room."
Manchin, meanwhile, told Politico, "It's a wonderful deal when you have the extremes back in the minority."
Sinema, according to Everett and Haberkorn, "leaned on years of relationships with McCarthy and lead negotiators Reps. Garret Graves (R-La.) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), while also consulting closely with OMB Director Shalanda Young and White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, who led the White House strategy alongside Legislative Director Louisa Terrell."
The Arizona senator, they add, "spent Thursday racing around the Capitol, aiding Senate leaders as they sought an agreement to speed votes up, spending literally hours helping craft joint statements and locking in amendment votes."
Sinema told Politico, "I was talking with everyone all the time."
Politico also asked Sinema if she plans to seek reelection as an independent in 2024. Her response, "I'm not gonna tell you."