Senator Joe Manchin says he has a health, energy and tax deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

WASHINGTON– In an unexpected turn of events, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin announced Wednesday that they had reached a sweeping agreement that had eluded them for months on issues related to healthcare, energy and the climate, taxation of high earners and companies and the reduction in federal debt.

For months, Manchin’s opposition had blocked a major deal sought by President Joe Biden and other Democrats, in part on the grounds that he said it would fuel inflation rather than fight it.

In an abrupt announcement, he and fellow Democrat Schumer said the measure would generate $739 billion in revenue over 10 years, with most of it coming from a 15% minimum corporate tax.

It would spend $369 billion on energy and climate initiatives and $64 billion to extend expiring federal subsidies for people who buy health insurance. That would leave over $300 billion to reduce government deficits over the decade.

The Senate will consider the sweeping package next week, said Schumer, DN.Y., and Manchin, DW.Va., who had been negotiating for months and appeared deadlocked on anything but a far smaller measure.

The announcement suddenly offered President Joe Biden and the Democrats the prospect of a major achievement ahead of November’s congressional election, in which Republicans appeared strongly positioned to seize control of the House of Representatives and possibly a majority of the Senate as well to bring Congress.

Significantly, Democrats dubbed the measure “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.” Polls show that inflation, epitomized by gasoline prices topping $5 a gallon before the easing, was voters’ top concern.

For months, Manchin’s opposition to proposed larger packages has been based in part on concerns that it would fuel inflation.

Manchin’s opposition had long derailed broad legislation on the proposal’s subjects.

Manchin, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, said just last week he would only approve much more limited legislation that would reduce prescription drug costs and expand federal subsidies for health care costs.

He said he was open to considering a broader compromise on environmental and tax issues after Congress returned from a summer recess in September, an offer many Democrats thought dubious.

There was no immediate explanation as to why Manchin had suddenly agreed to the far more comprehensive package.

In December, his opposition derailed a sweeping $3.5 trillion, 10-year social and environmental bill that was Biden’s top domestic priority.

In his statement, Manchin said the new measure “would allocate hundreds of billions of dollars toward deficit reduction by enacting tax policies that protect small businesses and working-class Americans while ensuring that big corporations and the ultra-rich get their fair share.” Pay taxes .”

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/joe-manchin-charles-schumer-senate-committee-washington/12077258/ Senator Joe Manchin says he has a health, energy and tax deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Dais Johnston

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