Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, announced on Wednesday that he had struck a deal with Democratic leaders on a domestic spending package that includes climate and energy programs and tax increases, less than two weeks after abruptly upending hopes for such a deal this summer.
In a statement, Mr. Manchin, who had been his party’s main holdout on an expansive social policy, climate and tax package, confirmed his support for the measure in a statement that did not provide detail on its precise elements. But in the statement, he signaled support for climate and energy programs, as well as some tax provisions, all of which he had previously suggested he could not support because of concerns about inflation.
It was not clear what had changed his mind about the plan, which only weeks ago he had said he could not back until he saw more economic data next month.
“Rather than risking more inflation with trillions in new spending, this bill will cut the inflation taxes Americans are paying, lower the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, and ensure our country invests in the energy security and climate change solutions we need to remain a global superpower through innovation rather than elimination,” Mr. Manchin said in a statement.
Mr. Manchin pointedly christened the bill the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, making a clear distinction between it and the ambitious multitrillion-dollar domestic policy plan President Biden proposed and Democrats in Congress spent most of last year toiling to pass.
“Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together,” Mr. Manchin said. “I will do everything I can to usher in a new era of compromise and common sense that will make America more energy secure, financially sound and a more united country for this generation and the next.
If getting decent legislation passed requires letting marginal votes call every bill something like the “Fight Inflation Cut the Deficit Stop Assigning Derrick Bell in Kindergarten Act” well, so be it.
If your first question is “tax increases? So Sinema is going to fuck us?” well that was mine too, but apparently after they were made worse but not eliminated from the deal Sinema gave her approval:
I’m hearing that this does not actually close the carried interest loophole, only narrows it (as that was all that Sinema could abide; apparently all the pay-fors here were pre-approved by her)— Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz) July 27, 2022
As reported, this deal is much less than you’d like from the last chance the Democrats are likely to have to legislate in a while, and much more than you’d expect from a deal in which the median vote in the Senate represents a state in which he is the last remaining registered Democrat.
Oh, and if this happens it also means that Chuck Schumer (!) and Joe Manchin (!!!!!!!!!) totally double-crossed Mitch McConnell:
It is verrrrrrrry interesting that this deal was announced shortly after the Senate passed the chips bill, which McConnell threatened to hold up if Dems continued to pursue a partisan reconciliation bill.
Very, very interesting! https://t.co/Q2LQNQ50Qw— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) July 27, 2022
One reason I think there might actually be a deal here is that McConnell has always been overrated as a Machiavellian tactician. He’s really good at playing pocket aces with five times as many chips as anyone else at the table, but anything with a higher degree of difficulty than “convince a bunch of elite Republicans it would be better to have Brett Kavanaugh than Elena Kagan as the median vote of the Supreme Court” and he’s just a guy.