Manchin and Schumer announce surprise deal on climate, health care and tax package

Senator Joe Manchin announced on Wednesday that he had reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — who had eluded them for months — on health care costs, energy and climate issues.

The package will pay for by closing tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and large corporations, Schumer and Manchin said in announcing the deal.

The health, tax and energy package needs to be reviewed by the Senate lawmaker to go through the budget reconciliation process, which allows Democrats to pass the measure with 50 votes. In a joint statement, Schumer and Manchin said the “revised legislative text will be submitted to the House of Representatives for review this evening and the Senate Plenary will consider it next week.”

Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat whose resistance has long derailed sweeping legislation on these issues, abruptly revealed the agreement in a press release, followed by a joint statement with Schumer.

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., speaks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of NY, ahead of an event in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Tuesday. Friday, March 15, 2022.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Manchin’s announcement came hours after the Senate passed the Chips and Science Act, a bill to subsidize investments in domestic semiconductor chip production. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened to block the semiconductor bill if Democrats continued to pursue partisan reconciliation legislation.

“Going forward, the debate on a future reconciliation bill or any targeted legislation must focus on supporting the everyday working Americans we were elected to serve,” Manchin said in a statement. “I support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 because it provides a responsible path that is focused on solving our nation’s major economic, energy and climate problems. side and embrace the commonsense approach that the overwhelming majority of the American people support and will best serve the future of this nation.”

According to a one-page description of Schumer and Manchin’s legislation, the bill would invest $369 billion in energy security and climate change and extend the Affordable Care Act program for three years. In addition, the legislation would grant Medicare the ability to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs.

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday noted the finality of the agreement.

“The good news here is that it’s Senator Manchin who is announcing a deal, not that they’re close to a deal or not that there are some parts to a deal,” she said.

Republicans immediately criticized the Manchin deal. Senator John Cornyn of Texas called it “Manchin’s new construction broke the bill”.

“Senate Democrats can rename Build Back Broke as many times as they want, it will be no less devastating for American families and small businesses,” Cornyn said. “Raising taxes on job creators, crushing energy producers with new regulations and stifling innovators looking for new cures will only make this recession worse, not better.”

— Jack Turman of CBS News contributed to this report

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