Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has decided to throw President Biden a life raft after all.
In a shocking reversal, Senator Manchin agreed Wednesday to help Biden pass a $739 billion revamped version of his “Build Back Better” spending bill, the Hill reported.
Manchin agrees to massive spending bill
For Biden, the showpiece is the $369 billion in climate change spending, including incentives to purchase electric vehicles that Biden’s administration has aggressively promoted. Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the bill would reduce carbon emissions by 40% before 2030.
The bill includes billions to extend premium subsidies for those receiving Obamacare and $300 billion in “deficit reduction” that Manchin said would help drive inflation down.
Manchin, citing inflation, had said two weeks ago that he wouldn’t support Democrats in passing a big spending bill. His position had appeared to torpedo any chance of Democrats delivering on Biden’s agenda before the midterms — or the end of Biden’s term in 2024, for that matter.
Biden, who is desperate to score a political win before midterm elections that appear unfavorable to his party, described the bill as a “godsend” for families struggling to stay afloat.
“Simply put, the bill will lower health care costs for millions of Americans,” the president added. “It will be the most important investment, not hyperbole … in creating clean energy solutions for the future. It’s a big deal.”
Build Back Better back from the dead?
Biden claimed that the crudely titled Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would lower inflation and pay for itself in full by forcing the wealthy to pay their “fair share.”
The bill’s advocates claim it would raise $739 billion in taxes from a combination of corporate taxes, prescription drug pricing reform, stronger IRS tax enforcement, and ending the so-called carried interest loophole. Biden promises the bill won’t raise taxes on those making under $400,000 a year.
Democrats hope to pass the bill through the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process next week, likely along partisan lines.
Manchin had left Democrats in despair last year when he vetoed Biden’s multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” bill. Despite appearances, Manchin insisted Wednesday Build Back Better remains dead.
“For too long, the reconciliation debate in Washington has been defined by how it can help advance Democrats political agenda called Build Back Better,” Manchin said. “Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together.”