Manchin strikes major deal with Schumer on climate, taxes and health care

In an unexpected breakthrough, Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., reversed his opposition to moving fast a broad filibuster-proof bill on Wednesday and announced it would back a package of measures that includes major investments in drug pricing as well as provisions to remedy climate change and taxes on the rich.

Manchin announced the deal in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., after months of negotiations between the two seemed to break down recently. The deal represents a major breakthrough for elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda that seemed all but dead.

“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic deficit reduction installment to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy generation and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by about 40% by 2030,” Schumer and Manchin said in a statement. “The bill will finally allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drugs and reduce health care costs for millions of Americans. every member of the US Senate to support this important legislation.

Image: Joe Manchin
Joe Manchin during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, April 26, 2022.Greg Nash/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The two Democrats said that the text of the agreement will be submitted to the Senate congressman on Wednesday evening “and that the full Senate will consider it next week”.

The legislation still needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators to become law, with no hope of winning GOP support. But Manchin, who represents a deeply conservative state, has been the biggest resister to a major bill for months, giving a version of the proposal a strong chance of passing the Senate.

He is also expected to pass the House before reaching Biden’s office.

In a statement Wednesday, Biden welcomed the deal.

“This afternoon, I spoke with Senators Schumer and Manchin and offered my support for the agreement they reached on a bill to fight inflation and reduce costs for American families,” the president said, calling for the bill to be passed quickly. “It’s the action the American people have been waiting for. It solves the problems of today – high health care costs and global inflation – as well as investments in our energy security for the future.”

According to a one-page summary, the bill will include $739 billion in new revenue through a 15% minimum corporate tax, prescription drug savings, additional IRS enforcement and it will limit the tax relief says interest carried.

The bill will also include $369 billion in spending for energy security and climate change and $64 billion in funding for the Affordable Care Act, for a total of $433 billion in spending.

There will be more than $300 billion in deficit reduction, the one-page summary adds.

In a personal statement, Manchin refuted suggestions that he misled Democrats or backed down from elements he said he favors. Democrats were furious earlier this month when Manchin suggested he would oppose the inclusion of climate and tax provisions in the agreement.

“As far as my position is concerned, I have never and will never stray from addressing the issues facing the nation we all love,” Manchin said in a statement. “I strongly support the adoption of common sense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the key challenges facing America today and in the future.”

He added: “For too long, the reconciliation debate in Washington has been defined by how it can help move Democrats forward.[‘] political agenda called Building Back Better. Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together. »

Two weeks ago, Manchin had transmitted to Schumer he was ready to move quickly on drug pricing and health insurance funding, but wanted to wait until mid-August to move forward with major investments in climate change or taxes, sources told Reuters. ‘era.

Manchin spokesman Sam Runyon said, “Today’s announcement is not a reversal of anything.”

The deferred interest provision could be a problem for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, who last year told party leaders she opposed the shutdown of the tax relief, which primarily affects investment managers. His office declined to comment immediately on the provision or the broader Schumer-Manchin agreement on Wednesday.

But it is also a small slice of the larger package, with estimated revenues of $14 billion, and is unlikely to prevent any version of the legislation from passing.

Sinema “will have to make a decision, but I know her concerns were considered in crafting all of this,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told NBC News after the news broke. OK.

In the House, the first progressive reactions were positive.

“If it’s all true, and if the language really — reflects what the main lines are, that’s a huge win for the American people,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chief of the progressive caucuses. “It’s a really big set of investments in people’s health care, cutting costs, expanding subsidies and climate change.”

Kyle Stewart contributed.

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