Sinema to move forward with Senate Democrats’ climate, health and tax bill: NPR


Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) said Thursday that she would “follow through” with Senate Democrats’ spending bill to address climate change, health care and tax reforms.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


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J. Scott Applewhite/AP


Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) said Thursday that she would “follow through” with Senate Democrats’ spending bill to address climate change, health care and tax reforms.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Thursday night that she would “move forward” with the massive climate, prescription drugs and spending by Democrats invoiceafter Democrats appeared to reach an agreement over Sinema’s concerns about the legislation.

Sinema’s announcement virtually locks the bill in for Democrats, who need all 50 Democratic votes for the bill to pass, with a deciding vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. The legislation consolidates key elements of President Biden’s national agenda.

In a statement, Sinema said, “We have agreed to remove the deferred interest tax provision, protect advanced manufacturing and boost our clean energy economy in the Senate Budget Reconciliation Legislation. Subject to the examination of the parliamentarian, I will go ahead.”

In recent days, Sinema had expressed concern about the part of the bill dealing with the narrowing of the interest carried tax loophole. Democrats say the measure would have added about $14 billion in funding.

In the deal, Sinema was also able to secure $5 billion in drought resilience funding and a 1% excise tax on share buybacks, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that the agreement reached among Democratic senators upheld key elements of the bill.

“I am pleased to announce 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.

“I have had many productive discussions with our conference members over the past three days and we have addressed a number of important issues they have raised.”

Schumer added that the final bill will be introduced Saturday, when the Senate returns to session.

President Biden, in a statement late Thursday, said “we have taken another crucial step toward lowering inflation and the cost of living for American families.”

“I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation and passing it into law as soon as possible,” Biden said in a statement from the White House.

Legislation is passed through a budget reconciliation process, which bypasses the 60 votes usually needed to pass a bill. The Senate parliamentarian is still combing through the text to ensure that the legislation can be passed as part of the reconciliation process.

Once the bill is presented to the floor — which Schumer said will happen on Saturday afternoon — up to 20 hours of debate, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, will begin.

Once debate on the bill is over, the process known as vote-a-rama begins and senators can submit as many amendments as they wish, a process that usually takes place late at night.

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