Kyrsten Sinema still hasn’t made a decision on Democrats’ climate and tax bill
Arizona Sen. Sinema wasn’t included during talks between Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Now, the delicate bill hangs on the line in an evenly split Senate
Democrats finally got West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on board for the budget reconciliation bill. But the West Virginian senator wasn't the only one the Democrats had to woo. Now, all eyes are on Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has yet to make her decision.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes funding for climate change, health care and tax increases on corporations, was struck last week after Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., reached a consensus.
The $300 billion in deficit reduction and $369.75 billion in energy security and climate change programs over the next 10 years will be fully paid by closing tax loopholes on wealthy individuals and corporations, as I previously reported.
Why is Sinema’s vote important for climate, tax increase bill?
“Sen. Sinema does not have comment as she’s reviewing the bill text and will need to see what comes out of the parliamentarian process,” a spokesperson for the senator told Fox News Monday.
Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough is reviewing the bill this week as a part of that process, with a ruling on the drug prices part of the bill arriving as soon as Thursday.
Manchin said during his appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he had not spoken to Sinema about the package after his agreement with Schumer. He also praised the Arizona senator for working toward reducing drug prices, which is included in the new draft.
“When she looks at the bill and sees the whole spectrum of what we’re doing and all of the energy we’re bringing in — all of the reduction of prices and fighting inflation by bringing prices down, by having more energy — hopefully, she will be positive about it,” Manchin said. “But she will make her decision. And I respect that."
Why is Sinema still undecided on the bill?
According to NBC News, Sinema has previously greenlighted most provisions on this spending bill when they appeared in the Biden administration's framework from October 2021. The bump in the road is the policy closing the carried interest tax loophole, which Sinema opposes.
The carried interest tax break allows investment managers to pay the lower 20% long-term capital gains tax rate on income rather than the regular income tax rate of up to 37% for the same amount of wages. Among Sinema's top contributors, $2.7 million came from securities and investment, according to OpenSecrets.
“I know this has been something that Sen. Sinema had concerns about. And I don’t think they checked with her beforehand,” Senate Finance Committee member John Cornyn, R-Texas, said about Schumer’s $14 billion tax legislation, adding that “it is very definitely a tax increase.”