The Democrats’ Budget Reconciliation Plan is Now The Inflation Reduction Act Of 2022

We’ve been here before like what, at least four times now? This Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football act is getting old. Joe Manchin says we’ve got a deal, and then he reneges on it before it can even come up for a vote. So color me skeptical. The man is an inveterate liar who should never be trusted.

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan joked on Twitter that Democrats should just rename the Build Back Better bill the Inflation Reduction Act, and the economically illiterate Joe Manchin would vote for it.

Sonofabitch, if that’s not exactly what Democrats appear to have done.

Self-congratulatory press release from Senator Joe Manchin’s office:

MANCHIN SUPPORTS INFLATION REDUCTION ACT OF 2022

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced he has reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will address record inflation by paying down our national debt, lowering energy costs and lowering healthcare costs.

“Over the last year, leaders in Washington have ignored repeated warnings about the severe threat of inflation and the consequences of unprecedented domestic spending. Despite these concerns and my calls to give the country time to fully realize the impacts of such historic levels of spending and our inflation crisis, many Democrats have continued to push for trillions more in spending to meet a political deadline. As difficult as it is for some to hear, political calls to action that ignore the severity of the crises we face and will continue to face are a recipe for national disaster.

“We must be honest about the economic reality America now faces if we want to avoid fanning the flames of inflation. At its core, the purpose of reconciliation is to get our economic and financial house in order. Contrary to foolish talk otherwise, America cannot spend its way out of debt or out of inflation. With respect to my position, I have never and will never walk away from solving the problems facing the nation we all love. I strongly support the passage of commonsense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the major challenges confronting America today and in the future.

“I have worked diligently to get input from all sides on the legislation my Democratic colleagues have proposed and listened to the views of my Republican friends to find a path forward that removes inflationary policies so that Congress can respond to Americans’ suffering from high prices. Based on that work, I now propose and will vote for the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. 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. Whether it is the threats to our energy security, high inflation, exploding national debt, persistent income inequality, supply chain chaos or the emergence of a new Cold War, it is time to put away the partisan swords and advance legislation that is in the best interests of the future of this nation and the American people we all represent – not just one party.

“It is past time for America to begin paying down our $30 trillion national debt and get serious about the record inflation that is crushing the wages of American workers. In practical terms, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would dedicate hundreds of billions of dollars to deficit reduction by adopting a tax policy that protects small businesses and working-class Americans while ensuring that large corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.

“Tax fairness is vital to our nation’s economic future. It is wrong that some of America’s largest companies pay nothing in taxes while freely enjoying the benefits of our nation’s military security, infrastructure and rule of law. It is commonsense that a domestic corporate minimum tax of 15 percent be applied only to billion-dollar companies or larger ensuring that America’s largest businesses are no longer able to operate for free in our economy. Furthermore, to avoid inevitable partisan gamesmanship and increase confidence in the fairness of the tax system, tax reform should never put U.S. businesses at a disadvantage against international competitors. Our tax code should not favor red state or blue state elites with loopholes like SALT and should focus more on closing unfair loopholes like carried interest. Through the enforcement of a fair tax code, we can use the revenue to cut the deficit and lower the cost of healthcare for working families and small businesses.

“In addition to fighting inflation, we must stop pretending that there is only one way to combat global climate change or achieve American energy independence. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 addresses our nation’s energy and climate crisis by adopting commonsense solutions through strategic and historic investments that allow us to decarbonize while ensuring American energy is affordable, reliable, clean and secure. The need to balance all of these critical energy priorities is no longer open to debate given the energy threats we face.

“I support a plan that will advance a realistic energy and climate policy that lowers prices today and strategically invests in the long game. As the super power of the world, it is vital we not undermine our super power status by removing dependable and affordable fossil fuel energy before new technologies are ready to reliably carry the load. This legislation ensures that the market will take the lead, rather than aspirational political agendas or unrealistic goals, in the energy transition that has been ongoing in our country. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 invests in the technologies needed for all fuel types – from hydrogen, nuclear, renewables, fossil fuels and energy storage – to be produced and used in the cleanest way possible. It is truly “all of the above,” which means this bill does not arbitrarily shut off our abundant fossil fuels. It invests heavily in technologies to help us reduce our domestic methane and carbon emissions and also helps decarbonize around the world as we displace dirtier products.

“Our persistent and increasing dependence on foreign energy and supply chains from countries who hate America represents a clear and present danger and it must end. The increased risk of geopolitical uncertainty demands that we turn our focus to increasing U.S. energy production and bringing good paying energy and manufacturing jobs back to America. While this may seem like commonsense, this Administration’s current solution is to push forward more costly regulations resulting in less U.S. production while inexplicably asking other nations to pump more oil and relying on Chinese President Xi for the critical minerals our economy needs.

“Let me make it clear, I will not vote to support policies that make the United States more dependent on foreign energy and supply chains or risk moving the country closer to the unstable and vulnerable European model of energy we are witnessing today. Most importantly, I am heartened by the bipartisan recognition that for America to achieve our energy and climate goals, it is critical we reform the broken permitting process. President Biden, Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi have committed to advancing a suite of commonsense permitting reforms this fall that will ensure all energy infrastructure, from transmission to pipelines and export facilities, can be efficiently and responsibly built to deliver energy safely around the country and to our allies.

For too long, the reconciliation debate in Washington has been defined by how it can help advance Democrats political agenda called Build Back Better. Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together. I will do everything I can to usher in a new era of compromise and commonsense that will make America more energy secure, financially sound and a more united country for this generation and the next.

“From here forward, the debate over a future reconciliation bill or any targeted legislation must focus on supporting the everyday hardworking Americans we have been elected to serve. I support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 because it provides a responsible path forward that is laser focused on solving our nation’s major economic, energy and climate problems. The question for my colleagues is whether they are willing to put their election politics aside and embrace the commonsense approach that the overwhelming majority of the American people support and will best serve the future of this nation.”

The man is so full of himself. “The overwhelming majority of the American people supported” the individual elements in the Build Back Better bill in poll after poll. It is the agenda that the majority of Americans voted for in 2020. But now the American people must bend to Joe Manchin’s self-important sense of his own commonsense.

The ball is now in the court of the other prima donna Democratic diva, Sen Kyrsten Sinema, who derailed a previous agreement last year because she was opposed to the carried interest tax provision on corporations that Joe Manchin wants, carrying water for her corporate campaign contributors.

NBC News reports, Manchin strikes major deal with Schumer on climate, taxes and health care:

In an unexpected breakthrough, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., reversed his opposition to quickly moving a broad filibuster-proof bill Wednesday and announced he will support a package that includes major investments in drug pricing as well as provisions to address climate change and taxes on the wealthy.

Manchin announced the agreement in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., after months of negotiations between the two appeared to break down recently. The deal represents a major breakthrough for elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda that appeared to be all but dead.

“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030,” Schumer and Manchin said in a statement. “The bill will finally allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drugs and lower health care costs for millions of Americans. Additionally, we have reached agreement with President Biden and Speaker Pelosi to pass comprehensive permitting reform legislation before the end of this fiscal year. We urge every member of the U.S. Senate to support this important legislation.”

Note: I do not see anything about an Affordable Care Act fix for premiums in this reporting, or in Manchin’s press release. This is something that needs to be addressed. It also does not include restoring the Child Tax Credit which reduced child poverty by over 50% and families desperately need, but Joe Manchin single-handedly opposes it.

The two Democrats said the text of the deal will be submitted to the Senate Parliamentarian on Wednesday evening “and the full Senate will consider it next week.”

The legislation, released by Schumer, still needs the support of all 50 Democratic senators to become law, without hope of winning GOP support. But Manchin, who represents a deeply conservative state, has been the biggest holdout to a major bill for months, giving a version of the proposal strong odds of passing the Senate.

It would also have to pass the House before reaching Biden’s desk.

In a statement Wednesday, Biden praised the deal.

“This afternoon, I spoke with Senators Schumer and Manchin and offered my support for the agreement they have reached on a bill to fight inflation and lower costs for American families,” the president said, urging speedy passage of the bill. “This is the action the American people have been waiting for. This addresses the problems of today – high health care costs and overall inflation – as well as investments in our energy security for the future.”

According to a one-page summary, the bill will include $739 billion in new revenues through a 15% corporate minimum tax, prescription drug savings, added I.R.S. enforcement and it will limit the so-called carried interest tax break.

The bill will also include $369 billion in spending on energy security and climate change and $64 billion in funding for the Affordable Care Act, for a total of $433 billion in spending.

There will be more than $300 billion in deficit reduction, the one-page summary added.

“By a wide margin, this legislation will be the greatest pro-climate legislation that has ever been passed by Congress,” Schumer said in a statement, releasing new summaries of the energy provisions as well as the tax provisions and drug pricing items. “I thank Senator Manchin for his willingness to engage and his commitment to reaching an agreement that can earn the support of all 50 Senate Democrats.”

* * *

Two weeks ago, Manchin had conveyed to Schumer he was willing to quickly move on drug pricing and health insurance funding, but that he wanted to wait until mid-August to advance major investments in climate change or taxes, sources said at the time.

Manchin’s spokesperson, Sam Runyon, said: “Today’s announcement is not a reversal of anything.”

The carried interest provision could be a problem for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who last year indicated to party leaders that she opposed closing the tax break, which primarily affects investment managers. Her office declined to immediately comment Wednesday on the provision or the broader Schumer-Manchin deal.

But it also represents a small slice of the larger package, at an estimated $14 billion in revenue, and is unlikely to prevent a version of the legislation from passing.

Sinema “will have to make a decision but I know that her concerns were kept in mind when putting this together,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told NBC News after the deal was announced.

In the House, early progressive reaction was positive.

“If it’s all true, and if the language is really — reflects what is what the top lines are, it’s a huge victory for the American people,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the leader of the progressive caucus. “It’s a really important set of investments in people’s health care, keeping costs down, extending the subsidies, and climate change.”

The goal here is to get this done before the Senate leaves for August Recess. We’ll see. I sense Kyrsten Sinema has been stewing over all the attention that prima donna Democrtic diva Joe Manchin has been getting. “Now it’s MY turn, and everyone will have to pay attention to me!

Geezus, where do we find these people?





4 thoughts on “The Democrats’ Budget Reconciliation Plan is Now The Inflation Reduction Act Of 2022”

  1. UPDATE: Sinema Watch – I guess I should have copywrited and registered a trademark for “Silent Sinema” – Politico writes “Silent Sinema stresses Dems as they race to pass Manchin-blessed deal”, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/28/democrats-climate-tax-health-care-bill-recess-00048459

    Almost every Senate Democrat is locking arms to push their $700 billion-plus climate, tax and health care bill past the chamber’s strict rules for avoiding a filibuster. Kyrsten Sinema is still a question mark.

    The Arizona Democrat has not commented on the legislation and isn’t expected to do so until she reviews the text and the rulings from the Senate parliamentarian, according to her spokesperson. At the moment, with the package set to reach the floor as soon as the middle of next week, her timeline for reaching a decision is uncertain.

    Sinema previously expressed support for addressing climate change in a party-line measure and struck a deal with Democrats last year to lower prescription drug costs. But she’s also resisted at least one provision in the bill: closing what’s known as the carried interest loophole, which currently allows certain financial firms to pay lower tax rates on their earnings.

    [O]ne person who spoke to Sinema described her as “frustrated” at not being looped in, while another person who talked to her said she was “totally shocked.” And Republicans think she’s their only chance at stopping the deal.

    [Because Sinema is a Vichy Democrat who appeases the enemies of democracy in the GQP. This is why she was not “looped in” – she would have went running to Republicans to tell them everything about the negotiations so they could sabotage the discussions.]

    Sinema did not attend a private caucus meeting Thursday morning to discuss the deal on Wednesday. And Schumer repeatedly declined to comment on her potential vote. “You saw what she said. So I say, no comment. I’m not going to talk about Sinema, period.”

    Manchin, meanwhile, told reporters he had not spoken to her but said he hoped “she would be receptive.” He added that he’s “adamant” on closing the carried interest loophole.

    [S]ome don’t think Sinema has any other option but to support the deal in the end. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said “her state is going to need her on this” and she “politically doesn’t have a choice.” [I disagree Raul.]

    In addition to the whip count, passing the package by next week without a single GOP vote won’t be easy. Democrats are already diving into a behind-the-scenes scrub to ensure the bill complies with the special budget rules that allow them to evade a filibuster. But that slog could eat up pivotal time over the next week — and result in the nonpartisan Senate rules referee knocking out portions of the proposal.

    And all that could play out in real time, with Democrats forced to litigate parts of their marquee party-line bill against Republican challenges as it’s being considered on the floor. There’s also the unlimited so-called vote-a-rama spree, where any senator, including Sinema, can seek to change the bill by offering amendments.

    Schumer also suggested Thursday that Democrats will try to add more provisions to the party-line legislation during floor consideration, such as a proposal to reduce the cost of insulin. Republicans suspect such moves may run afoul of Senate budget rules.

  2. UPDATE: Sinema Watch – “Manchin says he is firm on closing tax loophole; Sinema absent from caucus meeting”, https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/3578066-manchin-says-he-is-firm-on-carried-interest-tax-loophole-despite-sinema/

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday he is standing firm on keeping a proposal to close the so-called carried interest tax loophole in the tax and climate deal he reached this week, despite potential opposition from fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

    Closing the tax loophole has long been a goal of Democratic tax reformers, but it was dropped out of the House tax bill last year after Sinema indicated she opposed ending the tax break.

    This dynamic has prompted a storm of speculation about whether the Arizona senator will withhold her support for Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) Inflation Reduction Act, which became public Wednesday.

    [A prima donna peeve that she was not included.]

    Sinema’s office has so far declined to comment on the legislation. She did not attend a Senate Democratic Caucus meeting Thursday to discuss the deal, according to a senator in attendance. The senator noted that Sinema often misses caucus meetings and that it was not unusual for her to miss the specific meeting Thursday.

    -So, not doing the job we sent her to Washington to do. What, did she have a spin class, or a 10K race to run?

  3. Paging Kytsten Sinema, your corporate donors are calling on the white courtesy phone. “Big business groups lash out at Manchin-Schumer deal”, https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/3577600-big-business-groups-lash-out-at-manchin-schumer-deal/

    Lobbying groups representing large corporations swiftly criticized a revamped reconciliation deal announced by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday.

    They are zeroing in on the plan’s 15 percent minimum tax on corporations, which would help pay for massive investments in climate and energy security, extended health care subsidies and reduce the deficit.

    Big business lobbyists are expected to make a last-minute push to defeat or weaken the Manchin-Schumer agreement, which took K Street by surprise.

    [T]he National Association of Manufacturers, which is running ads in the nation’s capital opposing the previously announced slimmed-down reconciliation package over its drug pricing provisions, argued that the minimum tax would undermine the industry’s competitiveness.

    “Manufacturers kept our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, hiring more workers, investing in our communities and raising wages and benefits. Raising taxes now will hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep delivering for our people and mean fewer opportunities for Americans already worried about their financial future,” Jay Timmons, the group’s CEO, said in a statement.

    Democrats have long lamented that large, highly profitable corporations pay less in taxes than some small businesses due to lucrative tax breaks.

    At least 70 public companies made more than $1 billion in income in 2020 but paid less than 15 percent in federal taxes, including General Motors, Intel and FedEx, according to a report from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

    The inclusion of the minimum tax will please retailers, which previously backed the proposal as a way to make the tax code fairer for companies that don’t qualify for as many tax credits.

    The minimum tax is the top revenue raiser in the Manchin-Schumer plan, bringing in an estimated $313 billion over a decade. The proposal to allow the government to negotiate drug prices, which is fiercely opposed by the pharmaceutical industry, is expected to save an additional $288 billion.

    K Street lobbyists are expected to aggressively mobilize against the deal’s other key revenue raisers. It calls for boosting IRS enforcement, an idea that banks have lobbied against, and for closing the carried interest loophole, which would hit investment managers’ bottom line.

    -All K Street has to do is buy off Kyrsten Sinema, and she sells herself for cheap.

Comments are closed.