Published On: Wed, Jul 27th, 2022

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

In an unexpected breakthrough, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., reversed his opposition to a broad filibuster-proof bill Wednesday and announced he will support a package that includes major investments in drug pricing as well as provisions to address climate change and taxes on the wealthy.

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

“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030,” Schumer and Manchin said in a statement. “The bill will finally allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drugs and lower health care costs for millions of Americans. Additionally, we have reached agreement with President Biden and Speaker Pelosi to pass comprehensive permitting reform legislation before the end of this fiscal year. We urge every member of the U.S. Senate to support this important legislation.”

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

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

The legislation still needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators to become law, without hope of winning GOP support. But Manchin, who represents a deeply conservative state, has been the biggest holdout to a major bill for months, giving a version of the proposal strong odds of passing the Senate.

It would also have to pass the House before reaching Biden’s desk.

According to a one-page summary, the bill will include $739 billion in new revenues through a 15% corporate minimum tax, prescription drug savings, added I.R.S. enforcement and it will limit the so-called carried interest tax break.

The bill will also include $369 billion in spending on 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 added.

In a statement of his own, Manchin rebutted suggestions that he deceived Democrats or backed away from items he said he’d back. Democrats were furious earlier this month when Manchin suggested he would oppose including climate and tax provisions in the deal.

“With respect to my position, I have never and will never walk away from solving the problems facing the nation we all love,” Manchin said in a statement. “I strongly support the passage of commonsense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the major challenges confronting America today and in the future.”

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

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