Manchin rejects climate, tax elements of bill to Dem party line

Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for Manchin, said West Virginia cared little about how his rejection might affect his party’s overall political prospects, if Democrats ultimately did not agree to the narrow terms he has described.

“Political headlines are meaningless to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas,” Manchin spokesman Sam Runyon said. “Sen. Manchin believes it is time for leaders to set aside political agendas, reassess and adapt to the economic realities facing the country to avoid taking actions that fuel the fire of inflation. .

Schumer and Manchin had focused their recent discussions on a HR 5376 (117) spending up to $500 billion, mostly on climate and energy, while generating $1 trillion in new revenue through prescription drug reform and tax increases. Manchin himself first proposed keeping the bill focused on these areas four months ago, after rejecting a broader bill.

But Manchin became intensely embittered this week over the contours of a deal as inflation continued to plague the economy, telling reporters on Wednesday it was unclear what Democrats could accomplish beyond that. prescription drugs. He said anything Democrats had to pass had to be “scrubbed” to make sure it wasn’t inflationary.

“All of our efforts should be: How can we reduce gas prices, high energy prices, high food prices, all these things: it’s everyday life. And everybody talks about everything but stuff,” Manchin said in an interview earlier this week. “Unless you can get your financial house in order, you won’t be able to get inflation under control.”

Manchin’s Thursday rejection of Schumer’s offers, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked deep frustrations among progressives, especially those who saw Democrats’ control of Congress and the White House as a long-sought opportunity. a long time to limit carbon emissions.

representing Jared Huffman (D-California) said Manchin’s decision was “obviously extremely disappointing.

“It’s important that every young person, every activist, the majorities in this country who are demanding climate action understand very clearly that it’s not the Democrats,” Huffman added in an interview. “He’s a man named Joe Manchin. When it comes to the most important existential question of our time, this man is a wrecking ball.

Democrats were prepared to make severe concessions to Manchin to try to do something bigger this summer. Schumer has proposed earmarking half of the bill’s new tax revenue for deficit reduction, reducing subsidies for electric vehicles, eliminating direct payments to companies that produce clean energy and even supporting the permit reform for more drilling, according to the Democrat briefed on the talks.

Manchin had sought to cut an energy package initially pegged at more than $500 billion to $300 billion or less. He privately balked at sending money to the electric vehicle industry and the direct pay program.

Earlier this year, Manchin laid out what he might be able to support: energy investments, cutting prescription drug costs, deficit reduction and tax reform. Manchin has also consistently said he supports rolling back the GOP tax cuts in 2017, though that option now seems irrelevant to him as fears of inflation and recession weigh on the economy.

Democrats could decide to accept Manchin’s slim offer given insurance premium hikes that will occur this fall without action on health care and the party’s long-sought goal of lowering drug prices. . But that would only be a fraction of what the Democrats intended to do.

Last year, they presented a package of projects costing trillions of dollars and reshaping the country’s policies on education, taxation, climate and housing. And just a year ago, Manchin signed a document with Schumer indicating potential support for a $1.5 trillion bill.

The House eventually passed the smaller Build Back Back Better bill. But Manchin rejected it in December. In March, he outlined the blueprint for a potential deal: “The income producing [measures] would be taxes and drugs. The expenses will be for the climate.

Josh Siegel contributed to this report.


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