The surprising $740 billion reconciliation deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin could hinge on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
In an unexpected turnabout, Schumer, D-N.Y., and Manchin, D-W.Va., Wednesday announced they reached an expansive agreement that had eluded them for months on health care, energy and climate issues, taxes on higher earners and corporations, and trimming of the federal debt.
Following the news, focus fell on Sinema and whether the Arizona Democrat will support spending $369 billion on climate and another $64 billion on health care by raising the corporate minimum tax rate to 15%, Axios reported.
"We do not have a comment, as she will need to review the text," a Sinema spokesperson told Axios.
Sinema and Manchin are moderate Democrats in a Senate split evenly along party lines. The Arizonan was not included in the Schumer-Manchin secret discussions.
Democrats are planning to pass the legislation using budget reconciliation, which requires a simple majority. Vice President Kamala Harris, as president of the Senate, could deliver the tiebreaking vote.
The new agreement includes some $14 billion in new revenue from taxing carried interest, which Sinema has indicated she opposes, Axios said.
The New York Times in October reported that Sinema privately said she would oppose any corporate or income tax rate increases.
However, in December she said she supported the 15% corporate tax rate, which will raise an estimated $313 billion to fund the Democrats' climate priorities, Axios reported.
And all that was before inflation escalated with its largest annual increase in 40 1/2 years. The June year-over-year inflation figure rose to 9.1% — the highest since November 1981.
Manchin in December said he would not back President Joe Biden's $2 trillion Build Back Better legislation.
Now, Democrats are hopeful of a legislative victory heading into the midterms. Recent polls have indicated that Republicans are in position to reclaim control of the House, and perhaps also the Senate, in November.
Schumer and Manchin called their plan the "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022." It seeks to reduce the federal deficit by $300 billion and cuts federal spending on prescription drugs by $288 billion, Newsweek reported.
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