WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Biden’s ambitious plans to invest in fighting climate change and lowering health care costs appear closer to becoming a reality.
After eight months of negotiations that fell apart multiple times, it appears Senator Joe Manchin is finally on board with investments the President wants, but all Democrats will need to support it and it’s still unclear where Senator Kyrsten Sinema stands.
The Inflation Reduction Act aims to invest $400 billion over 10 years in fighting climate change and lowering health care costs for many Americans, by allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.
Manchin says he’s on board with what is essentially a smaller version of Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
“There’s an awful lot of good stuff in this bill,” Manchin said. “It’s a balanced bill. This is an energy security bill.”
Manchin is supporting the legislation, in part because it would pay for itself and reduce the deficit by raising taxes on the richest Americans and corporations.
Republicans, however, oppose the package.
“The same Democrats who said a $1.9 trillion spending spree would not cause inflation are now saying, ‘listen to this, it’s a good idea to raise taxes, kill jobs, attack American energy,'” Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell said.
Sinema has remained largely silent, and Democrats worry the proposed tax hikes could jeopardize her support. But for now, the White House is deferring to Senator Manchin to win her over.
Democrats hoped to pass the bill this week, but they can’t pass it unless all 50 Democrats are on board. So they need to lock in Sinema’s vote before they can move forward.