WASHINGTON – Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat of Arizona, announced Thursday night that she would support moving forward with her party’s health care, tax and environmental package, clearing the way for a A major part of President Biden’s domestic agenda is passed the Senate in the coming days.
To win Ms. Sinema’s support, Democratic leaders agreed to slash $14 billion in tax increases for some wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives she protested, changing the structure of the 15% minimum tax rate on companies and including drought money to benefit Arizona.
Ms. Sinema said she was ready to go ahead with the package, provided that the top Senate rules official signed on to it.
Sinema is the final holder of the package after Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat of West Virginia, reached an agreement with top Democrats last week to revive a plan. seems to have collapsed.
It took Democrats one step further to enact the package and revoke key pieces of their domestic agenda, starting with a series of votes this weekend. It comes just over a week after Mr Manchin and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, stunned their colleagues with a deal that includes hundreds of billions of dollars for programs climate and energy as well as tax increases in legislation, on proposed lowering prescription drug prices and expanding health insurance subsidies.
With Republicans united in the opposition, this measure needs the unanimous support of Democrats to move forward in the Senate by 50-50, so the party cannot accept even only one escape.
Schumer confirmed in a statement that he had reached an agreement “which I believe will have the support of the full Senate Democratic convention.” He said the revised law would be published on Saturday.
“Agreement to Preserve Key Components of The Inflation Reduction Act, he said, includes reducing prescription drug costs, combating climate change, closing tax loopholes exploited by large corporations and the rich, and reducing the deficit. The agreement will “take us one step further to enact this historic law into law.”
Mr. Biden called on the Senate to quickly pass the measure, hailing the deal as “another important step to reduce inflation and the cost of living for families in America”.
Ms. Sinema emphasized on the removal of a potentially restrictive provision tax preferences earnings of several wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives. Democrats have instead added a new 1% excise tax that companies will have to pay for the number of shares they buy back, a Democrat official revealed details of the plan. anonymous lawsuit said.
That provision would ensure that the package still reduces the federal deficit by $300 billion, the same amount Democrats targeted with the original deal and is a key priority for him, the official said. Manchin.
Democrats also agreed to Ms. Sinema’s request to include billions of dollars to combat drought, according to officials briefed on the emerging plan, something crucial for Arizona as it must suffer devastating super drought. They are expected to restructure the 15% minimum tax rate on corporations to ease the burden on manufacturers. Earlier this week, business leaders in Arizona complained directly to Ms. Sinema to simplify that proposal, included in part because she was against raising the tax rate as part of the plan.
“Manufacturers remain concerned that this bill will prevent new treatments and therapies,” said Jay Timmons, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Manufacturers. on Twitter, even while praising the removal of certain tax provisions. He added, “We remain skeptical and will scrutinize the amendment.”
While most Democrats were quick to rally around the deal Mr Manchin reached with Mr Schumer when it was announced last week, Ms Sinema refused to weigh in and privately signaled that there was a need for a deal. changes, especially to the tax proposals that won her vote.
Even as she contested Thursday’s unusually bipartisan vote for a judge she advocates for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – secured the support of nearly 20 Republicans – Ms. Sinema was campaigned on both sides of the aisle. She and Mr. Manchin gathered in the room, talking in a tight voice.
Sinema, an enigmatic centrist, has forced her party to abandon plans to overhaul much of the tax code, and her signature silence has left Democrats eager to introduce the project. the law. After hearing that she supported the bill, a number of Democratic senators and aides celebrated, believing that passage was finally within reach.
Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat of Hawaii, announced: “We are about to pass the necessary and widespread legislation.
Schumer said he planned to hold a check vote on the measure on Saturday afternoon, keeping the Senate out of its planned five-week recess in August to successfully complete it. legal work.
The package still has to pass a series of hurdles before the Senate can pass it. Because Democrats are using a complicated budget adjustment process to protect this measure from violations, it must be matched by Senate congressmen to ensure that its elements adhere to strict rules. strictly govern the process. That process is expected to continue on Friday and could lead to further changes to the measure if certain sections are deemed out of order.
Ms Sinema has left herself with the ability to change course if those changes raise any concerns, saying she will go ahead with the bill “subject to MPs review”.
Republicans will have a chance this weekend to try to implement the changes before the legislation is finally passed in a series of marathon amendment votes known as ballots. If all Republicans are present, all 50 senators meeting behind closed doors with Democrats must unite to defend the law as written.
In her statement, Sinema said she would work with Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, on separate legislation to address preferential tax treatment of hedge fund income. , sometimes referred to as the transferable interest gap. She said they will focus on “protecting investments in the US economy and encouraging continued growth while closing the most critical loopholes that some people abuse to avoid paying taxes”.
But doing so outside of a conciliation bill would require 60 votes to pass all but certain Republican votes, and it is unlikely that enough GOP senators will join the effort to regulate it. that happens.
Alan Rappeport contribution report.