Manchin Unblocks Biden's Domestic Agenda

Holdout's deal with Schumer covers climate change provisions
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2022 7:25 PM CDT
Manchin Revives Biden's Domestic Agenda
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin speaks to reporters at the Capitol last week.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Sen. Joe Manchin reached agreement with Senate Democratic leaders to support President Biden's domestic spending plan, legislation addressing health care costs, climate change, and other priorities. The deal reverses Manchin's position of two weeks ago, when he said he couldn't commit to the bill before economic data is released next month, the New York Times reports. His statement Wednesday didn't specify which provisions he backs and which he doesn't, but it indicated general support for the climate and energy programs, as well as some tax proposals. Until now, Manchin has been the holdup on Democrats getting the president's economic package through Congress.

Manchin had cited inflation as the main reason he was holding up the plan. Saying "Build Back Better is dead," Manchin recast the legislation as the Inflation Reduction Act, contrasting it with last year's spending plan. This bill will "cut the inflation taxes Americans are paying, lower the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, and ensure our country invests in the energy security and climate change solutions we need to remain a global superpower," he said. Manchin also agreed to measures to reduce health care costs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of certain prescription drugs for seniors. Corporations and the very wealthiest would see tax loopholes closed, per the Hill.

Some Democrats feared the unpleasant intraparty fighting on the legislation, which has been going on for months, would damage their chances in the November midterm elections, per the Washington Post. Now that the West Virginia Democrat and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have settled, Democrats could get the bill moving as early as next week. Biden added his endorsement of the agreement on the $670 billion package in a statement Wednesday. "This is the action the American people have been waiting for," the president said. (Read more Joe Manchin stories.)

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