WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) has reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a package that includes major investments in drug pricing in a surprising and unexpected breakthrough.
Manchin announced the agreement supporting investments in drug pricing as well as supporting a deal to tackle climate change and taxes on the wealthy.
“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will make a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030,” Schumer and Manchin said in a statement. “The bill will finally allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drugs and lower health care costs for millions of Americans. Additionally, we have reached agreement with President Biden and Speaker Pelosi to pass comprehensive permitting reform legislation before the end of this fiscal year. We urge every member of the U.S. Senate to support this important legislation.”
Manchin and Schumer said the deal will be submitted to the Senate Parliamentarian on Wednesday evening “and the full Senate will consider it next week”, putting on a path to be passed by the first week of August.
The legislation will need all 50 Democratic senators to support it in order to become law with Republicans expected to vote against it. If it passes in the Senate, it would also have to pass the House before reaching President Joe Biden’s desk.
According to a summary, the bill will see $739 billion in new revenues through a 15% corporate minimum tax, prescription drug savings, and th elimination of the carried interest tax break as well as $369 billion in spending on energy security and climate change and $64 billion in funding for the Affordable Care Act.
Biden released a statement on Wednesday, confirming his support for the agreement.
“With this agreement, we have a chance to make prescription drugs cheaper by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices and we can lower health insurance costs for 13 million Americans, by an average of $800 a year, for families covered under the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said.
Joe Manchin received heat from both sides, saying he deceived Democrats and lied to Republicans about his position on the issue but said in a statement that he never said he was walking away from the deal.
“With respect to my position, I have never and will never walk away from solving the problems facing the nation we all love,” Manchin said. “I strongly support the passage of commonsense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the major challenges confronting America today and in the future.”