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Manchin gives in to Schumer, agrees to reduced plan for climate change, new taxes

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) reached an agreement with Sen. Chuck Schumer on Wednesday and will support a package aimed at tackling climate change, drug prices, healthcare, and taxes on the wealthy.

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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After months of negotiations, Senator Joe Manchin reached an agreement with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday and announced that he reversed his opposition to a filibuster-proof bill and will support a package aimed at tackling climate change, drug prices, healthcare, and taxes on the wealthy,

According to NBC News, the announcement came in a joint statement on Wednesday from Machin and Schumer, with the bill now on a more likely path towards receiving 50 votes in the Senate.

"The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030," Schumer and Manchin said in a statement. "The bill will finally allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drugs and lower health care costs for millions of Americans. Additionally, we have reached agreement with President Biden and Speaker Pelosi to pass comprehensive permitting reform legislation before the end of this fiscal year. We urge every member of the US Senate to support this important legislation."

The bill will be sent to the Senate Parliamentarian on Wednesday evening "and the full Senate will consider it next week," according to NBC News.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes $369 billion in spending on energy security and climate change and $64 billion in funding for the Affordable Care Act. It will also include $739 billion in new revenues through a 15 percent corporate minimum tax, prescription drug savings, and added IRS enforcement. There will be more than $300 billion in deficit reduction, according to a one-page summary of the bill.

If passed in the Senate, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will need to pass through the House before it reaches President Biden's desk.

President Biden released a statement in support of the bill on Wednesday following the Senators' announcement.

"This afternoon, I spoke with Senators Schumer and Manchin and offered my support for the agreement they have reached on a bill to fight inflation and lower costs for American families," Biden said. "This is the action the American people have been waiting for.  This addresses the problems of today – high health care costs and overall inflation – as well as investments in our energy security for the future."

"If enacted, this legislation will be historic, and I urge the Senate to move on this bill as soon as possible, and for the House to follow as well," Biden concluded.

Manchin released his own personal statement on the matter and said he is happy to support "commonsense policies" that reduce inflation. Earlier this month, Sen. Manchin suggested he would oppose elements in the filibuster-proof bill that include tackling climate change and taxes on the wealthy, which resulted in fury from congressional Democrats.

"With respect to my position, I have never and will never walk away from solving the problems facing the nation we all love," Manchin said in a statement, according to NBC News. "I strongly support the passage of commonsense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the major challenges confronting America today and in the future."

"For too long, the reconciliation debate in Washington has been defined by how it can help advance Democrats' political agenda called Build Back Better. Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together," Sen. Manchin added.

In response to the agreement, Senate Republicans blasted the bill, noting that it could have "devastating effects" on US families.

"Senate Democrats can change the name of Build Back Broke as many times as they want, it won’t be any less devastating to American families and small businesses,," Sen. John Cornyn said, according to Fox News. "Raising taxes on job creators, crushing energy producers with new regulations, and stifling innovators looking for new cures will only make this recession worse, not better."

"With inflation at a 41-year high and a looming recession, Democrats want higher taxes, more government spending, and to attack American energy," Senate GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso added. "So much for helping American families."

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