Democrats say they’ve reached an agreement on an economic package – NBC Chicago

Senate Democrats have reached agreement on changes to their flagship economic legislation, they announced Thursday night, removing the biggest roadblock to advancing one of President Joe Biden’s top election-year priorities through the room in the next few days.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, a centrist seen as the pivotal vote, said in a statement that she agreed to changes to the measure’s tax and energy provisions and was ready to “move forward.” on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said lawmakers reached a compromise “which I believe will receive support” from all Democrats in the house. His party needs unanimity to pass the measure in the Senate 50-50, as well as the decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Schumer said he hopes the Senate can start voting on the energy, environment, health and tax measure on Saturday. The passage through the House, which the Democrats narrowly control, could take place next week.

Congressional final approval of the election-year measure would complete a stunning eleventh-hour salute to Biden’s far-reaching national goals, albeit in more modest form. Democratic infighting had embarrassed Biden and forced him to cut a much larger and more ambitious $3.5 trillion 10-year version and then a $2 trillion alternative, leaving the effort all but dead.

That bill, brokered by Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, the conservative nonconformist Democrat from West Virginia, would bring in $739 billion in revenue. That would come from tax increases on high earners and some large corporations, stronger IRS tax collections, and lower drug prices, which would save money for government and patients.

He would spend much of it on energy, climate and health care initiatives, leaving over $300 billion more for deficit reduction.

Sinema said Democrats agreed to scrap a provision increasing taxes on “carried interest,” or profits that accrue to private equity firm executives. It’s a proposal she has long opposed, even though it’s a favorite of Manchin and many progressives.

The deferred interest provision is estimated to generate $13 billion for the government over the next decade, a small portion of the measure’s $739 billion in total revenue.

It will be replaced by a new excise tax on share buybacks that will yield more than that, said a Democrat familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss publicly of the agreement. The official did not provide any further details.

Although she didn’t provide any details, Sinema said she also agreed to provisions to “protect advanced manufacturing and boost our clean energy economy.”

She noted that Senate Congresswoman Elizabeth MacDonough is still reviewing the measure to ensure that no provision should be deleted for violating chamber procedures. “Subject to parliamentary review, I will move forward,” Sinema said.

Schumer said the measure retained language from the bill on prescription drug pricing, climate change, “closing tax loopholes exploited by big business and the wealthy” and cutting federal deficits.

He said that in discussions with his fellow Democrats, the party “addressed a number of important issues that they raised.” He added that the final measure “will reflect this work and bring us closer to the enactment of this landmark legislation.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

Democrats have considered reshaping proposed taxes on the wealthy and big business, and possibly adding billions for the West’s historic drought, as lawmakers aimed for early votes Saturday on the party’s economic legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., announced his timeline on Thursday as party leaders worked behind the scenes in hopes of securing the unanimity they will need to succeed.

Election-year bill, housing top priorities for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats, would provide hundreds of billions in spending and tax credits to boost clean energy, boost fossil fuels and renew government support for people who buy private health insurance. This would raise revenue through tax increases, strengthen IRS tax collections, and limit drug prices, saving money for the government and patients.

“We prioritize the middle class and working families, rather than those at the top. God bless them, they are fine,” Schumer said.

Democrats must enlist the support of all of their lawmakers to prevail in the Senate 50-50 and avoid a blatant self-inflicted defeat, similar to the one they suffered last November on a much larger version of the package. Republicans are on track to oppose the legislation en bloc, saying its tax increases and spending would worsen inflation and hurt the economy.

“What do the Democrats want to do with all the money they want to drain from the pockets of Americans in the midst of a recession?” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “They want to lavish hundreds of billions of dollars on an issue that exactly 3% of the country say is our biggest problem: far-left environmental and climate spending.”

Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, a mercurial centrist, has not made her position clear and is seen as her party’s only potential resister.

She is part of a group of Western senators seeking to add an estimated $5 billion in legislation – seen as the biggest climate change move Congress has ever taken – to help their states deal with the epic drought. and forest fires. The effort was described by a Democrat familiar with the talks who would speak only on condition of anonymity.

Sinema also expressed interest in overhauling the measure’s 15% minimum tax on certain businesses with revenues over $1 billion, said another Democrat who was not authorized to publicly describe the view. of the senator. They did not provide any details. The proposed tax would raise about $313 billion over a decade, the legislation’s largest revenue stream.

In defense of the proposition, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released figures showing that between 100 and 125 companies with an average reported revenue of $8.9 billion paid interest rates. effective tax rate of 1.1% on average. The numbers were compiled by the nonpartisan Joint Congressional Taxation Committee.

Sinema criticized another proposal to raise taxes on managers of hedge funds and other private equity firms. It would bring in $13 billion, a small part of the bill, and is a favorite of progressives and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., a conservative Democrat who helped draft the comprehensive legislation with Schumer.

The Senate will not be in session on Friday as Democrats continue their talks. The break will also give Senate Congresswoman Elizabeth MacDonough time to decide whether any of the bill’s provisions violate house rules and should be deleted.

Republicans want to kill as much of the bill as possible, either with MacDonough’s rulings or with nonstop votes that are expected to last through Sunday or beyond.

Even if the GOP amendments are defeated, they will consider it mission accomplished if they force Democrats to take risky votes during the campaign trail on sensitive issues like taxes, inflation and immigration.

Vice President Kamala Harris can vote to break a 50-50 tie and approve the bill.

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