Democrats say they have reached agreement on economic package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have agreed to an eleventh-hour change to their marquee economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, leading to advance one of President Joe Biden’s paramount election-year priorities. removing the obstacle Through the Chamber in the days to come.

Sen. Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., a centrist viewed as the deciding vote The 50-50 Chamber, in a statement, said it had agreed to modify some of the tax and energy provisions of the measure and was ready to “move forward” on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., said he believed his party’s energy, environment, health and tax agreement would gain the support of “the chamber’s entire” Democratic membership. His party needs a unanimous vote and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris to move the measure through the Senate on some solid opposition from Republicans, who say the plan’s tax increases and spending will worsen inflation and the economy. will harm.

The announcement came as a surprise, with some expected talks between Schumer and Mercurial Cinema to drag on for days without a guarantee of success. Schumer has said he wants the Senate to begin voting on the legislation on Saturday, after which he will begin his summer break. Passed by the House, over which Democrats have limited control, it could come when that chamber returns to Washington sometime next week.

Democrats disclosed some of the details of their agreement, and other obstacles remained. Still, Congress’ eventual approval would entail a surprising resurgence of Biden’s broader domestic goalsAlthough in a more polite form.

Democratic infighting had embittered Biden and forced him to make a $3.5 trillion, 10-year version, and then a bigger and more ambitious $2 trillion option, leaving all efforts dead. Instead, Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, the conservative vagabond Democrat from West Virginia who derailed Biden’s earlier efforts, unexpectedly negotiated a slimmer package two weeks ago.

Its approval could lead Democrats to claim that they are moving to reduce inflation – although analysts say the effect will be modest – address climate change and increase US energy security.

“Tonight, we have taken another important step toward reducing inflation and the cost of living for America’s families,” Biden said in a statement.

Cinema said Democrats had agreed to remove a provision that increased the tax on “interest interest” or profits that went to executives of private equity firms. It is a proposal he has long opposed, although it is a favorite of Munchkin and many progressives.

Interest provision for the government was projected to generate $13 billion over the coming decade, a small fraction of the measure’s $739 billion in total revenue.

It would be replaced by a new excise duty on stock buybacks, which would bring in more revenue from it, said a Democrat familiar with the agreement. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the deal publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide any other details.

Cinema said it had also agreed to unspecified provisions to “protect advanced manufacturing and boost our clean energy economy”.

She noted that Senate MP Elizabeth McDonough is still reviewing the measure to ensure that no provision should be removed for violating the chamber’s procedures. “Subject to MP’s review, I will go ahead,” said Sinima.

For Democrats to use procedures to follow rules that would deter Republicans from escalating filibusters, 60 votes are needed to prevent delays.

Schumer said the measure upheld the bill’s language on drug pricing, climate change, “closing the tax loopholes exploited by big corporations and the wealthy,” and reducing the federal deficit.

He said the bill “addressed a number of important issues” that Democratic senators raised during talks. He added that the last resort “will reflect this work and move us one step closer to making this historic law a law.”

Left was unclear whether changes were made to the bill’s 15% minimum corporate tax, a provision cinema is interested in revising. It will raise an estimated $313 billion, making it the law’s biggest revenue raiser.

That levy, which would apply to about 150 corporations with incomes over $1 billion, has been strongly opposed by business, including Arizona’s conglomerate of cinemas.

The last resort was expected to include the aid that Cine and other Western senators are trying to add to help their states cope with the epic droughts and wildfires that have become common. Those lawmakers have sought about $5 billion, but it was unclear what the final language would do, said a Democrat after the deal, who would only describe the effort on condition of anonymity.

The measure will also face “Vote-a-Ram”. A torrent of nonstop corrections is expected to last well into the weekend, if not beyond. Republicans want to kill as many of the bills as possible, either with lawmakers’ decisions or amendments.

Even if their amendment is defeated — as is certain for most — Republicans will consider it mission accomplished if they vote Democrats into risky campaign-season votes on poignant issues like taxes, inflation and immigration. forced to take.

Democratic amendments are also expected. Progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, has said he wants to strengthen its health care provisions.

Overall, the bill would increase revenue by $739 billion. This would come from tax increases on high-income and some large corporations, increased IRS tax collections, and curbs on drug prices, saving money for the government and patients.

Some of this will be spent on initiatives that help support clean energy, fossil fuels and health care, including helping people buy private health insurance. This would still save more than $300 billion in deficit reduction measures.

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