Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has reached a deal with Democrats over a multi-pronged spending package that lawmakers say would reform the tax code, lower the federal deficit, lower healthcare costs, and invest in energy and climate change programs.
The spending package appeared to be a revised, alternate version to the Build Back Better (BBB) bill, which would fulfill a major agenda of President Joe Biden.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) previously announced on July 27 that he had reached a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on energy, taxes, and health care to advance the bill, which is dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.”
Sinema, who previously held out on the deal, said in an announcement on Thursday she would support moving forward with the measure and begin debate on the bill.
“We have agreed to remove the carried interest tax provision, protect advanced manufacturing, and boost our clean energy economy in the Senate’s budget reconciliation legislation,” Sinema said. “Subject to the Parliamentarian’s review, I’ll move forward.”
Schumer seeks to pass the measure through a procedural tool called “reconciliation” that allows a bill related to taxes, spending, and debt to be passed in the chamber by a simple majority rather than having to pass the 60 vote filibuster threshold. The reconciliation process also limits debate on the bill to 20 hours. That could allow the bill to be passed with only Democratic votes, if necessary, if every Democrat is on board.
Sinema’s announcement means all 50 Democrats in the 50–50 split Senate will support the measure. Democrats hold a majority due to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.
“I was so proud to stand with climate organizers and activists alongside Senate Democrats today,” Schumer wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday afternoon. “Because the Inflation Reduction Act will be the largest package to fight the climate crisis ever passed by Congress.”
“Republicans want to take away people’s health care, cut taxes for the rich, put Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block, raise taxes on working families,” Schumer said in a separate Twitter post. “Democrats are working to lower inflation, lower Rx drug costs, close tax loopholes exploited by big businesses.”
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled opposition to the spending package.
“Even the Democrats’ favorite estimate says their so-called inflation bill will take nine years to cut the same amount of inflation that our country added every week in June,” he wrote on Twitter on Aug. 3. “Nine years of huge tax hikes and big spending to remove literally one week’s worth of inflation. A joke.”
“Democrats want to raise families’ electricity, gas, and heating bills so they can send rich people rebates for buying $80,000 electric cars. New taxes on American oil and gas,” he said in another Twitter post. “Costly virtue signaling with no meaningful emissions impact as China keeps emitting more and more.”
This story is developing, please check back for updates.