WASHINGTON — Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said Thursday that he would “advance” a broad package of initiatives to combat climate change, lower drug prices and reduce the deficit, giving the Senate Democrats the votes they need to pass the Inflation Reduction Law.
synema, the last democrat resigned from the bill, said it negotiated the removal of a provision to raise taxes on accrued interest aimed at wealthy investors, resolving a key difference that had stalled his support.
“Subject to parliamentary review, I will go ahead,” Sinema said in a statement.
His endorsement sets up a final version of the bill to be introduced on Saturday. and the likelihood of a major legislative victory for President Joe Biden.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said he is “pleased to report that we have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act that I believe will receive support from the entire Senate Democratic conference. “.
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Sinema’s deal with Schumer includes a new excise tax on share buybacks that would generate more tax revenue than the accrued interest provision, according to a Democratic source familiar with the negotiations.
Democrats hope to pass the bill on a party-line vote through a process known as budget reconciliation that would allow passage with a simple majority and avoid the 60-vote threshold to overcome Republican filibuster. It would need the votes of all Democrats in the Senate divided evenly.
“Tonight, we have taken another critical step to reduce inflation and the cost of living for American families,” Biden said in a statement Thursday night. “I hope that the Senate will take this legislation and pass it as soon as possible.”
Sinema, a thorn in the White House’s side on several policy proposals over the past year, had refused to speak publicly about the legislation for more than a week since Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. and Schumer announced an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act.
The legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices (which the pharmaceutical industry has long opposed) and extend Affordable Care Act subsidies through 2025.
To address climate change, the bill would provide billions in tax credits to develop and expand clean energy transmission infrastructure. including programs to help Americans buy electric vehicles that would help Biden’s goal of a significant reduction in cabin carbon emissions over the decade. To pay for the measures, the bill would establish a minimum corporate tax of 15% and strengthen enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service.
The bill would raise an estimated $739 billion in new tax revenue, which would more than offset the $433 billion in proposed new spending. legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $102 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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Manchin and Sinema last year opposed several measures in Biden’s more expansive Build Back Better legislation that sought to reform the social safety net, leading to the bill’s stalling. They also opposed the president’s push for exceptions to Senate filibuster to pass electoral reforms and protect abortion rights.
Contact Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Senator Kyrsten Sinema announces agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act