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Sen. Joe Manchin says ‘Build Back Better is dead’ as he agrees on new climate, tax spending

The new bill intends to invest $300 billion in Deficit Reduction and $369.75 billion in Energy Security and Climate Change programs over the next decade, fully funded by closing tax loopholes

SHARE Sen. Joe Manchin says ‘Build Back Better is dead’ as he agrees on new climate, tax spending
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a centrist Democrat, walks through the Capitol in Washington.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a centrist Democrat, walks to a caucus lunch at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

After putting Democrats in a tough spot by withdrawing support for any climate or energy spending or tax hikes, and as inflation grew at a historic rate in July, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has reached a deal.

Manchin, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will focus “on solving our nation’s major economic, energy and climate problems,” per Forbes.

“After many months of negotiations, we have finalized legislative text that will invest approximately $300 billion in Deficit Reduction and $369.75 billion in Energy Security and Climate Change programs over the next 10 years,” Manchin and Schumer said in a joint statement, per NPR.

“The investments will be fully paid for by closing tax loopholes on wealthy individuals and corporations.”

Manchin’s “realistic energy and climate policy” translates into technological investment in two areas — fuel types like “hydrogen, nuclear, renewables, fossil fuels and energy storage” and projects that reduce domestic methane and carbon emissions, the West Virginia senator said in the announcement.

Additionally, this bill will not “shut off our abundant fossil fuels.”

“Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together,” said Manchin.

The new agreement also includes a two-year extension for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act that cover premiums for those who are lower income, allowing some households to pay as low as $10 a month, which Manchin supported from the start, as I previously reported.

As for tax provisions, the Inflation Reduction Act will levy a 15% minimum tax on billion-dollar, or larger, companies while enforcing a fair tax code.

President Joe Biden, in a statement released Wednesday, said that he spoke with both Schumer and Manchin and offered his support for the bill that will “fight inflation and lower costs for American families.”

However, there is still another roadblock ahead. To avoid a filibuster, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., will have to sign off on it. Democrats hope to pass the bill through the budget reconciliation process.

The bill wasn’t well received by Republicans, either. The Senate passed the Chips Act on Wednesday with support from Republicans because they thought that the climate and tax spending bill was dead after Manchin withdrew support, per Axios.

According to Fortune, “some Republicans say they feel duped, and Republican leadership may urge House Republicans to vote against the Chips Act to retaliate,” leaving Democrats to struggle in a narrow majority.

“Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation. Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted.