From a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy, smiling, holds a football out for Charlie Brown to kick

Joe Manchin Says He’s Finally on Board With Legislation on Climate, Taxing the Rich, and More

Surely, THIS time it'll happen.

Earlier this month, Senator Joe Manchin tanked Democrats’ hopes of passing a sweeping social spending bill addressing issues ranging from climate change to capping healthcare costs to actually making corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. That package was a more Manchin-friendly version of Joe Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better package, which the purported Democrat had also single-handedly killed late last year. He and his colleagues spent nearly a year negotiating, altering the bill to his liking, and then at the last minute, he pulled out anyway, saying he was too concerned about inflation to support legislation that would, you know, actually help people.

Recommended Videos

Now, Manchin has made a sudden about-face and has reportedly reached a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to support a version of the package, which, while still significantly scaled-back, will provide meaningful reform to a number of areas, including climate programs and capping prescription drug prices.

An added (major) bonus to this deal is that it must be pissing the hell out of Mitch McConnell. The Senate recently passed a huge industrial policy bill that McConnell refused to support while this domestic package was still on the table. Manchin killed the bill, the Senate passed the other one, and now Schumer and Manchin announced they’ve reached a deal on reconciliation.

On the one hand, this bill—which is no longer Build Back Better and is now called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (*eye roll*)—is nowhere near as ambitious as what was originally introduced but it would be pretty major.

HuffPost sums it up:

The proposal would raise $740 billion by instituting a 15% minimum corporate tax rate; beefing up the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement of tax laws on the ultra-wealthy; narrowing the carried interest loophole, which allows hedge fund managers and other wealthy investors to pay lower taxes; and requiring Medicare to negotiate the prices of some drugs directly with manufacturers, leveraging the social insurance program’s massive buying power to wring savings from drugmakers.

It then spends a historic $369 billion on “energy security and climate change,” which Democrats say will be enough to cut carbon emissions in the United States by 40% before 2030, and puts $64 billion toward extending subsidies for the Affordable Care Act for three years. The remaining $300 billion will go toward reducing the deficit, a priority for Manchin.

On the other hand, anything Manchin promises falls directly into the “believe it when we see it” category, as we’ve been down this road so many times before. Also, Manchin isn’t the only potential roadblock here. To pass the bill, every single Democrat needs to get on board and as of now, Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema is refusing to say whether she’ll support it or not.

A specific hurdle is that Manchin’s plan includes closing or at least substantially limiting the “carried interest loophole,” a tax loophole that allows ultra-wealthy private equity and hedge fund executives to claim a far lower tax rate than what they should be paying. Sinema has flat-out refused to support closing the loophole.

So we’ll see what happens and we can dream big but for now, this deal is far from closed.

(via NYT, image: Lee Mendelson Film Productions / Peanuts Worldwide)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Female Benedictine College Graduate Speaks Out After Harrison Butker’s Horrific Speech
Harrison Butker at the Super Bowl LVII on Opening Night and Susi Leisegang in a TikTok video
Read Article Charlyne Yi Says They Were ‘Coerced To Quit’ Taika Waititi Series Following Alleged Assault
Actress Charlyne Yi attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Read Article Let the Olympics Be Horny!
Michael Phelps Kissing Gold Medal Olympics
Read Article Wanna Get Into Chappell Roan? Start With These 10 Songs
Chappell Roan poses in a beauty pageant outfit on the cover of her album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.
Read Article NFL Remains Silent Following Misogynistic Commencement Speech From the Chiefs’ Harrison Butker
Kansas City Chiefs' Harrison Butker on the field at State Farm Stadium
Related Content
Read Article Female Benedictine College Graduate Speaks Out After Harrison Butker’s Horrific Speech
Harrison Butker at the Super Bowl LVII on Opening Night and Susi Leisegang in a TikTok video
Read Article Charlyne Yi Says They Were ‘Coerced To Quit’ Taika Waititi Series Following Alleged Assault
Actress Charlyne Yi attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Read Article Let the Olympics Be Horny!
Michael Phelps Kissing Gold Medal Olympics
Read Article Wanna Get Into Chappell Roan? Start With These 10 Songs
Chappell Roan poses in a beauty pageant outfit on the cover of her album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess.
Read Article NFL Remains Silent Following Misogynistic Commencement Speech From the Chiefs’ Harrison Butker
Kansas City Chiefs' Harrison Butker on the field at State Farm Stadium
Author
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.