When Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., halted talks on the $2 trillion version of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill, many believed that was the end of the administration-defining legislation. The New York Times reports that the Democrats needed unanimous support to pass the bill, and “Mr. Manchin’s resistance has been the primary obstacle to doing so all along, handing him effective veto power over its contents.”

It came as a surprise to many, then, that Manchin reversed his position so quickly, working with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and both staffs to compromise on various points of contention, per The Washington Post.

Months in the making, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act Sunday — a $430 billion package covering issues of climate change, taxes on corporations and health care. In a statement issued by the White House, Biden said the bill is “the largest investment ever in combatting the existential crisis of climate change,” while acknowledging it “required many compromises.”

The final vote was split along party lines, with a 50-50 tally requiring Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie. According to CNN, the final vote came after a 16-hour series of amendment votes that went from Saturday night into Sunday afternoon, in a “vote-a-rama” meant to prevent a filibuster.

What compromises were made?

Originally, $550 billion was to be invested in clean energy, however, Manchin had concerns about the immediate threat of inflation. The new package contains $369 billion portioned for “energy security and climate change,” with the purpose of “(lowering) energy costs, (increasing) cleaner production, and (reducing) carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030.”

The Atlantic reports that the bill “reflects Manchin’s particular concerns for the future of the fossil-fuel industry, and in particular West Virginia’s gas companies.” The measures he added have drawn the ire of some environmental groups.

According to Politico, one stipulation requires the federal government to lease at least 60 million acres of federal waters off the coast of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas production, before being allowed to lease to offshore wind and solar projects.

Another measure provides a tax credit to those using carbon sequestration technology to capture and store carbon emissions (a boon for large fossil fuel companies), which critics say slows the transition to renewable energy.

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Manchin also secured a commitment to complete a natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and promises to speed up the permitting process to develop energy infrastructure, per The New York Times.

What to watch

Schumer claims the bill would allow the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, according to The Washington Post. Independent analysis supports this claim, per The Atlantic.

Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., aligned with the party’s vote after making changes to the bill but added fuel to the heated debate surrounding special interest groups’ influence on legislation, per Business Insider.

Friday, the House will return to likely pass the bill, sending it to Biden for a final signature.

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