McConnell attacks Manchin spending deal after Democrats take away their leverage

  • McConnell criticized Manchin’s surprise deal after Democrats stripped him of his influence.
  • Earlier, he had promised to block a computer chip project if Democrats advanced Biden’s agenda.
  • Hours after Senate Republicans voted in favor, Schumer and Manchin announced a deal.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized a nascent deal between Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Democratic leaders, which revived parts of his agenda on Wednesday.

“The Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation,” said the Kentucky Republican. wrote on twitter. “Now they want to raise the giant taxes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs.”

The deal between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer resurrects several Democratic initiatives that were considered dead just two weeks ago. The 725-page bill – titled “Inflation Reduction Act” – would empower Medicare to trade prescription drugs, extend financial assistance for people to buy Obamacare health insurance, and fund a variety of climate and energy programs to make US transition from fossil fuels.

Manchin released a statement announcing the deal less than three hours after 14 Senate Republicans, including McConnell, joined all Senate Democrats in passing a $52 billion bill to strengthen the semiconductor industry. These are computer chips that power smartphones, medical devices and other high-tech items facing pandemic-related shortages.

McConnell had previously threatened to suspend semiconductor legislation if Democrats tried to advance his health, climate and tax bill. The latest measure is being passed with only Democrats votes in the budget reconciliation process, allowing them to circumvent resistance from the Republican Party.

“Let me be perfectly clear: there will be no bipartisan USICA as long as the Democrats are pursuing a partisan reconciliation project,” he said. McConnell tweeted a month ago, using another name for the account.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a confidant of McConnell’s, sought to minimize the possibility that Manchin and Schumer had bested the Republicans on the so-called chip project.

“I always assumed that if they had the votes to pass the reconciliation, they would do it,” Cornyn told Insider Wednesday. “And there’s nothing we can do to stop them.”

The semiconductor bill now heads to the House, where House Republicans are starting to line up in opposition. Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the House Means and Methods Committee, said Senate Democrats were “misleading” in drawing GOP support for the computer chip project, later announcing a broader deal. to revive Biden’s agenda.

A prominent House progressive said she could understand if Republicans were angry with Manchin. “We’ve all been there,” Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington told reporters.

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