WASHINGTON — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said on Thursday it would “move forward” with a comprehensive package of initiatives to combat climate change, lower drug prices and reduce the deficit, leading the Senate to Democrats the votes they need to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.
Sinema, the last Democratic She said she negotiated the removal of a provision to raise taxes on transferred interests targeting wealthy investors, resolving a key difference that had held back her support.
“Subject to the parliamentarian’s assessment, I will continue,” Sinema said in a statement.
Her support ensures a final version of the bill to be tabled on Saturday, and the likelihood of a major legislative victory for President Joe Biden.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said he is “glad to report that we have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act that I believe will have the support of the entire Democratic Senate conference.”
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Sinema’s agreement with Schumer includes a new excise tax on share buybacks, which would generate more tax revenue than the accrued interest provision, according to a Democratic source familiar with the negotiations.
Democrats hope to be able to vote the bill on a party line through a process known as budget reconciliation, which would allow simple majority approval and avoid the 60-vote threshold of overcoming a Republican filibuster. It would need the votes of all Democrats in the equally divided Senate and then a casting vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.
The Senate MP is reviewing the bill to determine whether it can be considered under the reconciliation rules and is expected to make a decision soon.
“Tonight we took another critical step toward reducing inflation and the cost of living for American families,” Biden said in a statement late Thursday. “I look forward to the Senate taking up this legislation and passing it as soon as possible.”
Sinema, a thorn in the side of the White House over several policy proposals over the past year, had refused to talk publicly about the legislation for more than a week since Senator Joe Manchin, TSWT.Va. and Schumer announced a deal on the Inflation Reduction Act.
The legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices — long opposed by the pharmaceutical industry — and extend the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies through 2025.
To tackle climate change, the bill would provide billions in tax credits to develop and expand clean energy transmission infrastructure including programs to help Americans buy electric vehicles that would help Biden’s goal to significantly reduce interior carbon emissions over the decade. To pay for the measures, the bill would set a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% and strengthen enforcement of the Internal Revenue Service.
The bill would generate an estimated $739 billion in new tax revenue, more than negating the $433 billion in proposed new spending. The legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $102 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
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Manchin and Sinema objected last year to several measures in Biden’s more extensive Build Back Better legislation seeking to overhaul the social safety net, causing the bill to stall. They also opposed the president’s push to oust the Senate filibuster to pass voting reforms and protect abortion rights.
Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Announces Deal On Inflation Reduction Act