Sinema agrees to ‘move forward’ on social spending and tax bill after Dems make changes
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Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said Thursday that she will “move forward” with the Democrats’ tax and social spending bill, after previously standing by the deal reached by Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“We agreed to eliminate the carried interest tax provision, protect advanced manufacturing and boost our clean energy economy in the Senate’s budget reconciliation legislation,” said Sinema, D-Ariz. “Subject to Parliament’s review, I will move forward.”
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Sinema was widely considered the final senator needed for Democrats to pass the climate, energy, health and tax plan, which, if it becomes law, will cap more than a year of intra-party negotiations. With his support, Schumer said he hoped all 50 Democrats would vote for the measure.
“I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act which I believe will receive the support of the entire Senate Democratic conference,” Schumer said. “The final version of the reconciliation bill, which will be introduced on Saturday, will reflect this work and bring us one step closer to the enactment of ‘this historical law. .”
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Democrats plan to pass the legislation through a process called budget reconciliation, which allows them to overcome the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold to pass legislation across party lines. Manchin killed earlier reconciliation efforts last year, once called “Rebuild Better,” which were far more expansive than the bill he proposed with Schumer last week.
Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate will reconvene Saturday afternoon with a plan to vote 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 GOP objections.
Vice President Harris could break ties with any 50-50 vote.
The biggest problem Republicans say they see with the bill is the tax hikes, the burden of which the Joint Committee on Taxation will indirectly fall on Americans in nearly every tax bracket. The increases will also hit manufacturing companies hard, Republicans say, just after the Senate passed a bill to boost U.S. manufacturing.
The legislation is expected to spend $433 billion in total and raise $739 billion in tax revenue.
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“The people who work in these companies, and remember that half will fall on the manufacturers, will see their wages and benefits cut because of these taxes at a time when they are struggling to keep up with current affairs. inflation,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Another hurdle Democrats are awaiting the results of is the review by Senate Rep. Elizabeth MacDonough, who is currently reviewing legislation to comply with the Byrd Rule. This rule says that the provisions of the reconciliation bill generally must deal with taxes and government spending and cannot be direct policy prescriptions. However, no outcome of their review is expected to condemn the bill.
After Democrats vote to begin considering the bill, they will also have to pass a “branch vote,” when senators can propose unlimited amendments to the legislation. This usually results in dozens of amendment votes in a marathon session that can last the better part of a day. But if Democrats remain united, they have control over whether the bill passes, despite the GOP’s efforts.