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[WATCH] Senate Shocker: Schumer and Centrist Senator Strike Major Deal

[WATCH] Senate Shocker: Schumer and Centrist Senator Strike Major Deal

In an unexpected and shocking breakthrough on Wednesday, Democratic centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia completely reversed his opposition to a broad filibuster-proof bill and announced his support for a package that includes major investments in drug pricing as well as provisions to address climate change and taxes on the wealthy. Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced the bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, in a joint statement.

The deal represents a major step forward for many elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda that appeared to be all but dead. According to a one-page summary, the bill will include $739 billion in new revenues through a 15% corporate minimum tax, prescription drug savings, added I.R.S. enforcement and it will limit the so-called carried interest tax break. The bill will also include $369 billion in spending on energy security and climate change and $64 billion in funding for the Affordable Care Act, for a total of $433 billion in spending.

In a separate statement of his own, Manchin, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, addressed suggestions that he deceived Democrats or backed away from items he said he’d back. Democrats were furious earlier this month when Manchin suggested he would oppose including climate and tax provisions in the deal. “With respect to my position, I have never and will never walk away from solving the problems facing the nation we all love,” Manchin said in a statement. “I strongly support the passage of commonsense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the major challenges confronting America today and in the future.”

The legislation still needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators to become law, without hope of winning GOP support. But Manchin, who represents a deeply conservative state and has been the biggest holdout to a major bill for months, is now giving the proposal strong odds of passing the Senate.

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It would also have to pass the House before reaching Biden’s desk.

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