West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin praised the legislation he nearly killed on Sunday by calling the rewritten bill to pay down US debt and tackle the climate crisis he finally agreed to last week a “big for America”.
Manchin struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader and fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer last Wednesday, announcing a sweeping $739 billion package that had eluded them for months that addresses health care and the crisis. climate change, raising taxes on high incomes and businesses and reducing the federal debt. .
The bill replaces the landmark $3.5 billion Build Back Better infrastructure and social support legislation that Manchin crushed last year and the scaled-down version that suffered a near-death experience weeks ago. shortly after Manchin also walked away from it, after months of negotiations.
The new legislation, now called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, could pass the Senate this week, though it’s not a done deal and Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has yet to commit. As a budget-related bill, Democrats aim to be able to use the so-called reconciliation process to pass it by a simple majority in the Senate, which would require all 50 Democratic senators in the 100-seat chamber and the vote United States swing. Vice President Kamala Harris to pass.
“I hope so,” Manchin told CNN’s State of the Union show Sunday morning, when asked if the Senate would vote to approve the bill before the summer recess. at the end of the week.
It is “a great opportunity. It’s not a Democrat bill, it’s not a Republican bill, it’s definitely not a “green” bill, it’s a red, white, and blue bill,” he told host Jake Tapper.
Manchin appeared to walk away from legislation earlier this month on inflation concerns, angering climate action advocates and his own colleagues on Capitol Hill. He repeatedly thwarted his own party and was seen as jeopardizing global climate goals and, at home, Democratic fortunes in the midterm and 2024 elections, while earning millions in the construction industry. coal.
He refused to support more funding for climate action and spoke out against tax increases for wealthy Americans.
“There were things in there that I thought could be considered inflammatory… inflation is the biggest challenge we have in our country,” he said on Sunday.
Then, he added, “we resumed” negotiations. “I never left,” he said.
There was relief among Democrats and climate experts last week, and a sense of closure if the bill passes, both for climate action and the fortunes of the beleaguered administration. Biden.
Manchin hailed US President Joe Biden, although he won’t say whether he will support him for re-election in 2024.
“You don’t do anything of this size without the president,” he said of the bill, adding that he was “very grateful” to Biden for his support in the negotiations.
Bill includes $369 billion, including tax credits to encourage renewable energy generation that brings the United States closer to its goal of reducing global warming emissions by 50% by 2030 , and support for the purchase of electric cars.