West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Sunday hailed the legislation he almost killed calling the rewritten bill to pay down US debt and tackle the climate crisis that he finally agreed to last week “big for America.”
Manchin struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader and fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer last Wednesday, announcing a vast $739 billion packagethat had eluded them for months, which deals with health care and the climate crisis, raises taxes on high earners and corporations, and reduces the federal debt.
The bill replaces the landmark $3.5 billion Build Back Better infrastructure and social support legislation that Manchin crushed last year and the scaled-down version that suffered a near-death experience just a few weeks ago, after Manchin also walked away from this, after months of negotiations.
The new legislation, now called The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, could pass the Senate this week, although it is not a done deal and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has yet to pledge. As a budget-related bill, Democrats aim to be able to use the so-called reconciliation process to pass it by a simple majority in the Senate, which would require all 50 Democratic senators in the 100-seat chamber and the vote United States swing. Vice President Kamala Harris to pass.
“I hope so,” Manchin told CNN’s State of the Union show Sunday morning, when asked if the Senate would vote to approve the bill before the summer recess. at the end of the week.
It is “a great opportunity. It’s not a Democrat bill, it’s not a Republican bill, it’s definitely not a “green” bill, it’s a red, white, and blue bill,” he told host Jake Tapper.
Manchin appeared to walk away from legislation earlier this month over inflation concerns, enraged climate action supporters and his own colleagues on Capitol Hill. He has repeatedly thwarted his own party and was seen as undermining global climate goals and, at home, Democratic fortunes in the midterm and 2024 elections, while making millions in the coal industry.
He refused to support more funding for climate action and spoke out against tax increases for America’s wealthy.
“There were things in there that I thought could be considered inflammatory… inflation is the biggest challenge we have in our country,” he said on Sunday.
Then, he added, “we resumed” negotiations. “I never left,” he said.
There was relief among Democrats and climate experts last week, and a sense of closure if the bill passes, both for climate action and the fortunes of the beleaguered administration. Biden.
Manchin greeted the US President Joe Bidenalthough he will not say if he will support him for re-election in 2024.
“You don’t do anything of this size without the president,” he said of the bill, adding that he was “very grateful” to Biden for his support in the negotiations.
The the invoice includes $369 billion, including tax credits to encourage renewable energy production that brings the United States closer to its goal of reducing global heating emissions by 50% by 2030, and support for the purchase of electric cars.