Manchin and Schumer Reach Historic Climate, Tax, and Health Care Agreement!
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., surprised everyone by changing his mind about a broad bill that can’t be blocked by a filibuster. On Wednesday, he said he will support a package that includes big investments in drug prices as well as plans to deal with climate change and tax the rich.
The agreement was announced by Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a joint statement. This came after months of talks between the two seemed to break down recently. The deal is a big step forward for parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda that looked like they were almost dead.
Schumer and Manchin said in a statement, “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on reducing the deficit to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and cut carbon emissions by about 40% by 2030.” “Finally, the bill will let Medicare negotiate prices for prescription drugs, which will lower the cost of health care for millions of Americans. Also, President Biden and Speaker Pelosi have agreed to work with us to pass a bill to reform the way permits are issued before the end of this fiscal year. We urge every U.S. Senate member to support this important bill.”
The two Democrats said that the text of the deal will be sent to the Senate Parliamentarian on Wednesday night, and “the full Senate will look at 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.
A one-page summary of the bill says that a 15% corporate minimum tax, savings on prescription drugs, more I.R.S. enforcement, and a limit on the so-called carried interest tax break will bring in $739 billion in new money.
The bill will also spend $369 billion on energy security and climate change and $64 billion on the Affordable Care Act. This brings the total spending to $433 billion.
There will be more than $300 billion in deficit reduction, the one-page summary added.
In a statement of his own, Manchin pushed back against claims that he lied to Democrats or didn’t support things he said he would. When Manchin said earlier this month that he would be against including climate and tax changes in the deal, Democrats were furious.
Manchin said in a statement, “Given my position, I have never and will never walk away from trying to solve the problems facing the country we all love.” “I strongly support passing policies that make sense, like lowering inflation and focusing on the biggest problems America faces now and in the future.”
He added: “Too long, the reconciliation debate in Washington has been about how it can help Democrats move forward with their Build Back Better political agenda. Build Back Better is dead, but we can make our country stronger by getting Americans to work together.”