NATIONAL Politics email

  • by

Senate Democrats have reached an accord on changes to their marquee economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, clearing the major hurdle to pushing one of President Joe Biden’s leading election-year priorities through the chamber in coming days.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., a centrist who was seen as the pivotal vote, said in a statement that she had agreed to changes in the measure’s tax and energy provisions and was ready to “move forward” on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said lawmakers had achieved a compromise “that I believe will receive the support” of all Democrats in the chamber. His party needs unanimity to move the measure through the 50-50 Senate, along with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

Schumer has said he hopes the Senate can begin voting on the energy, environment, health and tax measure on Saturday. Passage by the House, which Democrats control narrowly, could come next week.

Final congressional approval of the election-year measure would complete an astounding, eleventh-hour salvation of Biden’s wide-ranging domestic goals, though in more modest form. Democratic infighting had embarrassed Biden and forced him to pare down a far larger and more ambitious $3.5 trillion, 10-year version, and then a $2 trillion alternative, leaving the effort all but dead.

This bill, negotiated by Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, the conservative maverick Democrat from West Virginia, would raise $739 billion in revenue. That would come from tax boosts on high earners and some huge corporations, beefed up IRS tax collections and curbs on drug prices, which would save money for the government and patients.

It would spend much of that on energy, climate and health care initiatives, still leaving over $300 billion for deficit reduction.

Read more about this story here.