A number of concessions were required to obtain Sinema, representing Arizona. For example, a $14 billion tax increase for wealthy investors was scrapped. Financial support has been added to combat the effects of drought, which will benefit dry Arizona. Biden desperately needs the package, with more than $400 billion spent, to make good on his campaign promises.
The plan, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, includes broad tax breaks to stimulate the production of renewable electricity. Government subsidies should lower health care costs. At the same time, the Biden administration wants to reduce the budget deficit by $300 billion, including tax increases for large corporations.
To get the package, Biden couldn’t lack the support of any Democratic senator. Republicans hold exactly half of the Senate seats, and they will vote against it no matter what. They decry the tax increases and think the spending is too big. Only if all Democrats vote for it can Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris cast her ballot and pass the bill.
In fact, Biden envisioned a larger package that would cost $3.5 trillion, the Rebuilding Better Act. But Sinema and her West Virginia colleague Joe Manchin did so. When the two opposition Democrats also did not agree to a watered-down package of $2 trillion, the case threatened to lead to a major defeat for Biden. After all, he has promised his voters to make big strides on climate and social inequality.
Two weeks ago, Mansion leaders and Democrats unexpectedly reached an agreement that resulted in another watered-down deal. Now that Cinema appears satisfied after some additional adjustments, the Senate Democrat leader, Chuck Schumer, expects to get enough votes. In recent days, he has had “many productive conversations” with fellow group members, he wrote in a statement.
Biden, historically unpopular, could have little success. Opinion polls indicate that Democrats will lose a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives in the midterm elections next November. The dissatisfaction is partly due to the sharp rise in prices. So it is no coincidence that the new investment package indicates this reduce inflation (lowering inflation).
As far as the president is concerned, the plan cannot be passed soon enough. “Accept this proposal. Make sure it ends up on my desk. Consider it for the American people.” He said the multibillion-dollar investment is “the largest investment in history to combat climate change” and will create more jobs and lower energy costs.
According to Schumer, the Senate can actually vote on the new proposal this weekend, which will be published in full on Saturday. Then the House of Representatives, where Democrats are the majority, can consider the matter next week.
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