The media is overstuffed today with analyses of how Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just got played by the Democrats after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he finally would be agreeing to support the latest climate and tax bills out forth by his Democratic colleagues, setting the stage for the passage of some of President Biden’s key priorities.
After Senator Manchin indicated last week that he would definitely oppose any legislation to help America address the global climate emergency, Senator McConnell agreed to allow members of his GOP caucus to vote for another of Biden’s signature initiatives — the “CHIPS” bill that would help make America less dependent on China for the electronic components that increasing power our devices and our economy.
The passage of the “CHIPS” legislation in the Senate eliminated a crucial piece of leverage for the Republicans, leaving them empty-handed when Manchin reversed course on his previous opposition to the climate and tax package favored by his Democratic colleagues.
Manchin’s reversal means the likely passage of a bill that would include many, if not all, of the provisions included in Biden’s Build Back Better initiative, under the more marketable moniker of the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
In the deal worked out between Senator Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), billions of dollars will be allocated for climate and energy programs; prescription drug costs would be lowered; tax cuts rescinded for the wealthy; corporations would be required to pay a 15% minimum tax, and IRS enforcement would be bolstered.
More details about Manchin-Schumer deal:
Total revenue: $739 billion
Tax reform: IRS enforcement, 15% corporate minimum tax, closing carried interest loophole
$369 billion in energy/climate
$64 billion on ACA subsidies
$300 billion+ on deficit reduction pic.twitter.com/RkrYUQRkf0
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 27, 2022
President Biden urged the Senate to quickly pass the new legislation.
“This is the action the American people have been waiting for,” President Biden said in a statement. “This addresses the problems of today — high health care costs and overall inflation — as well as investments in our energy security for the future.”
While Senator Manchin’s embrace of the new bill was a breakthrough for the bill that would require a simple majority to pass under the Senate’s reconciliation rules, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is still not guaranteed.
Several Democratic Senators have not yet revealed their position on the bill, including Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) who has often joined Senator Manchin in opposing her own party’s legislative proposals.
Let’s hope that the Democrats can unite to pass this compromise legislation, which, while not as comprehensive as the earlier Build Back Better legislation, at least moves the country in the right direction.
Original reporting by Emily Cochrane, Jim Tankersley, and Lisa Friedman at The New York Times.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.