WASHINGTON — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said she would “move forward” on a sweeping package of initiatives to combat climate change, lower drug prices and pare back the deficit, giving Senate Democrats the votes they need to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.
Sinema, the last Democratic holdout on the bill, said she will move forward after negotiating to remove the carried interest tax provision.
“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 in a statement Thursday night.
“Subject to the Parliamentarian’s review, I’ll move forward.”
“I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act that I believe will receive the support of the entire Senate Democratic conference,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced minutes later.
Her support sets up a final version of the bill to be introduced Saturday, and the likelihood of a major legislative win for President Joe Biden.
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Sinema, a thorn to the White House on several policy proposals, had refused to talk about the legislation publicly for more than a week since Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Schumer announced a deal on the Inflation Reduction Act.
The legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices – long opposed by the pharmaceutical industry – and extend Affordable Care Act subsidies through 2205.
To address climate change, the bill would provide billions in tax credits to develop and expand clean energy transmission infrastructure including programs to help Americans buy electric vehicles that would help Biden’s goal of significant cabin carbon emissions reduction over the decade. To pay for the measures, the bill would establish a 15% corporate minimum tax and beef up enforcement of the Internal Revenue Service.
The bill would raise an estimated $739 billion in new tax revenue, more than offsetting the $433 billion in proposed new spending. The legislation would decrease the federal deficit by $102 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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Democrats hope to pass this bill via a process known as budget reconciliation, which would allow passage with a simple majority and avoid the 60-vote threshold to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Manchin and Sinema last year balked at several measures in Biden’s more expansive Build Back Better legislation that sought to overhaul the social safety net, leading to the bill stalling. They’ve also opposed the president’s push for carve-outs to the Senate filibuster to pass voting reforms and protect abortion rights.
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