Washington DC: In a startling turnabout, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin announced an expansive agreement Wednesday that had eluded them for months addressing health care and climate, raising taxes on high earners and large corporations, and reducing federal debt.
The two Democrats said the Senate would vote on the wide-ranging measure next week, setting up President Joe Biden and Democrats for an unexpected victory in the run-up to November elections in which their congressional control is in peril. A House vote would follow, perhaps later in August, with unanimous Republican opposition in both chambers seemingly certain.
“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,” Biden said in a statement. He urged lawmakers to approve the legislation quickly.
In summaries that provided scant detail, Democrats said their proposal would raise $739 billion over the decade in new revenue, including $313 billion from a 15 percent corporate minimum tax. The deal also claims to gain $124 billion from beefing up IRS tax enforcement, and $14 billion from taxing some “carried interest” profits earned by partners in entities like private equity or hedge funds.
The measure would spend $369 billion on energy and climate change initiatives. It would also aim $64 billion at extending federal subsidies for three more years for some people buying private health insurance. Those subsidies, which lower people’s premiums, would otherwise expire at year’s end.