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As Manchin pushes for speedy passage of new deal, Sinema remains silent

Senate Democrats are aiming to pass a major spending bill this week that includes funding for climate change, health care and corporate tax increases.

The deal was struck unexpectedly last week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and a key centrist, Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., giving Democrats optimism that they will have a solid program to follow in competition. races ahead of the midterm elections this fall.

While Manchin appeared on five Sunday programs to defend the deal and call for its passage, another centrist who holds a 50-50 Senate swing vote, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, who Democrats consider a tough negotiator, was silent on whether she would vote for the Cut Inflation Act of 2022, released on Wednesday.

Sinema’s vote could make or break the bill. Democrats, with no hope of winning Republican support, need every member of their caucus to be present and vote — something not guaranteed given the recent absences of Covid-infected senators — to clear the Senate.

A Sinema spokeswoman said Sunday she had no comment on the bill, adding that “she is reviewing the text and will have to see what comes out of the parliamentary process,” referring to the Senate official who determines whether the bills comply with the chamber’s strict budget rules. .

Without his support, it remains unclear whether Senate Democrats will be able to pass it this week.

Democrats also hope to pass the PACT Act to expand medical care for veterans exposed to toxic burn outbreaks while serving, a bipartisan measure that Senate Republicans blocked last week.

Party leaders were aiming to schedule another vote on the legislation for Monday, but it could be delayed, leaving less time for the filibuster-proof bill. Republicans rejected the proposal amid anger that Democrats decided to press ahead with climate and tax legislation, which they thought was dead due to Manchin’s earlier resistance.

Schumer’s office said it intended to pass the legislation before the August recess of the chamber. But they did not close the door to delay it if necessary.

Why is Sinema undecided?

Sinema has been supportive of most provisions of the Democrats’ spending bill, which is consistent with a White House framework released in October 2021 that she endorsed. The big exception is the limitation of deferred interest tax relief, which benefits investment managers.

Last year, Sinema made it clear to Democratic leaders that she opposed closing what many in her party call the “carried interest loophole”, according to multiple sources familiar with the negotiations. The provision was removed from the Build Back Better Act passed by the House, which was stalled indefinitely in the Senate earlier this year. But Manchin favors ending the tax relief, and it has been added to the new bill.

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Arizona, who is encouraged by some Democrats to challenge Sinema in 2024, said lawmakers should vote for the bill.

As Manchin pushes for speedy passage of new deal, Sinema remains silent

“Blocking this bill that will reduce inflation and make investments in climate change mitigation to protect a loophole for the ultra rich would not be prudent,” Gallego told NBC News.

On NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Manchin defended the legislation and said he hoped Sinema would support it.

“Kyrsten Sinema is a friend of mine and we work very closely together,” he said. “She has contributed enormously to this bill. And I would like to think that she would be in favor of it, but I respect her decision. She will make her own decision based on the content.

House Democrats in tough races are excited to pass the bill — if it passes the Senate.

“I plan to be very supportive of it,” Rep. Katie Porter, D-California, told NBC News in an interview Saturday at the Huntington Beach Pier. “Medicare should be able to negotiate prices… The climate part, I think, is something that will really prepare our economy to compete with countries like China in the future.”

Even Porter’s Republican challenger Scott Baugh said he’s “interested” in the drug pricing provisions, some of which are widely popular in the polls, and needs to “fully evaluate” them before taking action. position. But he opposes the rest of the bill.

“They’re stepping up for a failed policy,” he said in an interview at his campaign office in Newport Beach. “You can’t spend more money and raise taxes and solve the problem.”

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., a staunch fiscal conservative, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that “it really does look to me like Joe Manchin was taken to the cleaners.”

“The corporate tax increase is going to slow growth, probably exacerbate a recession that we’re probably already in,” Toomey said.

As Manchin pushes for speedy passage of new deal, Sinema remains silent

Manchin, however, seemed committed to the legislation and defended the 15% minimum corporate tax, a centerpiece of new revenue, and dismissed Republican criticism of it.

“You would think at least they would pay at least 15%. Most businesses and all corporations I know pay 21%. So it’s not a tax increase. It closes a loophole,” he said. he said Sunday. “The last two years have been huge and record profits.

“And that being said, this is the lowest capital expenditure investment we’ve ever had. So it’s not taxes that are causing this.”


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