The other big news today is that Schumer and Manchin reached a deal on a climate and drug pricing reconciliation bill. The bill is brillinatly titled “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” to address Manchin’s reasons for nixing similar bills in the past, not that there was a rational reason to assume lowering drug prices and transitioning away from fossil fuels was going to fuel inflation. Negotiating with Manchin must be a bit like herding cats.
Anyway, this would be a good bill to pass. As I understand it, it provides $369 billion to transition away from fossil fuels, allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and extends critical Affordable Care Act subsidies for three years. It also includes a 15 percent minimum corporate tax on companies of $1 billion or larger.
Of course, nobody trusts Manchin until this thing is passed, and I don’t believe anyone has heard from the Senate’s other free radical, Kyrsten Sinema (D-Rabbit Hole), yet. “While Sinema may not want to personally kill this heaven-sent deal herself, it would be surprising if she doesn’t take at least a pound of flesh in concessions to show her corporate friends she is still a major player,” Ed Kilgore writes.
This proposal also has to pass in the House, of course, where Josh Gottheimer (D-the 1 Percent) and his merry band of blue dog “centrists” are always ready to kill any part of the Democratic Party agenda, just because they can.
One interesting part of the story is that apparently the Dems put one over on Mitch McConnell. Per Josh Marshall:
While Senator Schumer and the White House were trying to revive some skinny version of the BBB and climate legislation with Joe Manchin Senator McConnell tried to scuttle those talks with a threat. He would pull GOP support from the China competition/CHIPs bill if the Democrats did not drop those negotiations. As it happened, Manchin scuttled the deal so the threat became moot. Then the CHIPs bill passed the Senate yesterday and then within like an hour – voila – the Manchin deal was back and somehow finalized. Senate Republicans were clearly pissed but the bill had already passed the Senate.
The “chips” bill has passed the House and can be signed by President Biden. It is intended to boost domestic production of semiconductor chips so that the U.S. is less reliant on other countries to keep our computers going. I take it that some House Republicans who had planned to vote for it changed their minds when the Schumer-Manchin deal was announced, but it passed anyway.
Susan Collins (R-Ozone Layer) said that the surprise announcement of the Schumer-Manchin deal could doom bipartisan efforts on a bill to protect same sex marriage. That makes no sense whatsoever to me, either. It’s like everyone in the Senate is a 12-year-old.
In other legislative news, a bill “aimed at protecting veterans exposed to toxic materials during their service was shut down yesterday in the Senate, in a 55 to 42 vote that failed to meet the 60-vote threshold necessary to advance the legislation.” Here is a list of the Republicans who voted against it. Chuck Schumer’s was the only Democratic vote against it, and I understand he cast that vote as part of a procedural maneuver that might allow reviving it at some other time.
I'm hopeful. Nobody should do victory laps until it's on the President's desk but, I'm thinking this has been vetted by Schumer and blessed by Manchin. It had to go through under reconciliation, which means it won't need any GOP votes in the Senate at all.
The Democrats are looking at a potentially bleak mid-term election. A lot of people feel (including me) that we should have been able to do more with a majority. The size of the bill is… pretty big. 350 B for energy and climate could be major. Taxes on corporations should have been easy. As Maha pointed out, there are red-dog Democrats in the clutches of Wall Street. But with the mid-terms just around the corner and everything hanging on keeping the Senate at least, there's not a lot of room (I hope) for gamesmanship that puts everything in jeopardy. IDK if it was strategy or not, the BS stunts that red-dogs might have pulled a year ago aren't so easy with all the chips on the table, months from the election.
So they did an end-around the Grim Reaper (not an easy trick) did the negotiations in complete secrecy and sat on the finished product until the Chip Bill passed the Senate and dropped the bomb hours later as a F-U to Mitch. I love it.
RepubliKKKLANs LOOOOOOOVE using our military.
They just hate paying them while they're fighting, and afterwards – especially if they need more care than a couple of aspirins.
If all of this happens – the "chips," and the well-named inflation reduction act – the Democrats will have a lot of positive news to give voters.
Democrats are working towards America's future.
RepubliKKKLANs are hell-bent on moving America back to the 50's.
Also too: Watch out, women folk!
Since you're no longer considered a full cituzen after Roe was overturned, look for RepubliKKKLANs to repeal the 19th Amendment if they gain control. (I'd sooner take away the vote from White men – which would include me)..
Isn't it sweet that there can be partisan agreement between members of the Democratic party and the Democratic party. It brings a tear to my eye.
This story illustrates the extent McConnell relied on Joe Manchin as a shadow republican senator, and its beyond ironic McConnell feels betrayed that Manchin actually voted with his own party on something, rather than screwing them over, at his bidding.
The self described "Grim Reaper" has, in this case, reaped what he has sown, a victim of his own machinations. I hope the veterans don't forget how McConnell and the GOP threw them under the bus to get some measure of revenge.
But at least, in all this, the republicans stayed on brand.