August 11, 2022

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Sinema agrees to ‘move forward’ with social spending and tax bill after Dems make changes

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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said Thursday she will “move forward” with the Democrats’ social spending and taxation bill, after previously holding out on deal struck by Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

“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, D-Ariz., said. “Subject to the Parliamentarian’s review, I’ll move forward.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said in a statement Thursday that she will “move forward” with Democrats’ reconciliation bill.
(REUTERS/Caitlin O’Hara)

MANCHIN CLAIMS DEMOCRATIC SOCIAL SPENDING AND TAX BILL IS FILLED WITH GOP PRIORITIES

Sinema’s support was widely considered the biggest hurdle for Democrats to pass the plan on climate, energy, health care and taxes, which if passed will cap over a year of intra-party negotiations. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., still has not committed to voting for it, but Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday he believes all Senate Democrats will vote for the package. 

“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,” Schumer said. “The final version of the Reconciliation bill, to be introduced on Saturday, will reflect this work and put us one step closer to enacting this historic legislation into law.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., calls on a reporter during a press conference about Democrats’ reconciliation bill. 
(Tyler Olson/Fox News)

MANCHIN DISPUTES DATA SHOWING SOCIAL SPENDING BILL WOULD RAISE TAXES ON MIDDLE CLASS DURING RECESSION

Democrats plan to pass the legislation using a process called budget reconciliation, which allows them to get around the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold to pass legislation on party lines. Manchin killed previous reconciliation efforts last year, at the time called “Build Back Better,” which were much more expansive than the bill he proposed with Schumer last week. 

Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate will reconvene on Saturday afternoon with the plan on voting to begin debate on the bill. If all 50 Senate Democrats support the bill and remain healthy and able to vote, they will be able to pass it despite vociferous GOP objections.

Vice President Harris would be able to break ties on any 50-50 votes. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., scored a major victory Thursday when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said she will “move forward” with Democrats’ reconciliation bill. 
(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

 The biggest issue Republicans say they see with the bill are tax increases, the burden for which the Joint Committee on Taxation will fall indirectly on Americans in nearly all tax brackets. The increases will also hit manufacturing businesses hard, Republicans say, just after the Senate passed a bill to boost U.S. manufacturing. 

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“Folks who work in these companies, and remember half this is going to fall on manufacturers, they’re gonna see their wages and benefits be reduced because of this taxation at a time when they’re having a really hard time keeping up with current inflation,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said. 

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.