Manchin, Schumer report blunt deal on health, energy and taxes


Policy

Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., is greeted by reporters outside the courtroom where he chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022 (AP Photo/J. Scott White Apple)
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an unexpected twist, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin announced Wednesday that they had reached an expansive agreement that had eluded them for months on issues of health, d energy and climate change, high income and corporate taxes and federal debt reduction.

For months, Manchin’s opposition had blocked a broader deal sought by President Joe Biden and other Democrats, in part on the grounds that he said he would stoke rather than fight inflation.

In an abrupt announcement, he and fellow Democrat Schumer said the measure would generate $739 billion in revenue over 10 years, with the biggest chunk coming from a 15% minimum corporate tax.

It would spend $369 billion on energy and climate initiatives and $64 billion to extend expiring federal subsidies for people with health insurance. That would leave more than $300 billion to reduce federal deficits over the decade.

The Senate will consider the vast package next week, said Schumer, DN.Y., and Manchin, DW.Va., who had been negotiating for months and appeared deadlocked on anything other than a much smaller measure.

The ad suddenly presented President Joe Biden and Democrats with the prospect of pushing a major achievement through Congress ahead of November’s congressional elections, in which Republicans appeared strongly positioned to take control of the House. and possibly the majority of the Senate as well.

Tellingly, Democrats were calling the measure “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” Polls show that inflation, epitomized by gasoline prices that rose above $5 a gallon before falling, was the top concern among voters. For months, Manchin’s opposition to the proposed larger packages was based in part on his fear that it would fuel inflation.

Manchin’s resistance had long derailed extensive legislation on the issues of the proposal.

Manchin, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, said last week he would only agree to much more limited legislation limiting prescription drug costs and extending federal subsidies for health care costs. .

He said he was ready to consider a broader compromise on environmental and fiscal issues after Congress returned from summer recess in September, an offer many Democrats considered dubious.

There was no immediate explanation why Manchin had suddenly accepted the much larger package. In December, his resistance derailed a 10-year, $3.5 trillion social and environmental bill that was Biden’s top national priority.

In his statement, Manchin said the new measure would “dedicate hundreds of billions of dollars to deficit reduction by adopting tax policy that protects small businesses and working-class Americans while ensuring that big business and ultra-rich pay their fair share of taxes. .”



Boston

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