Kyrsten Sinema backs Joe Biden’s top climate, health and tax bill

Democrats took a big step forward on Joe Biden’s flagship climate, tax and healthcare legislation on Thursday night after Kyrsten Sinema, a Senator from Arizona, expressed support for the latter plan. days of lively internal negotiations.

Sinema’s support was boosted following a last-minute change to a bill that would impose a 1% excise tax on share buybacks by large companies. One measure that prevents preferential treatment of private equity and hedge fund returns is known as “real interest rate“Were removed.

“The agreement will include a new excise tax on share buybacks that bring in far more revenue than the interest provision made, meaning the deficit reduction figure will be still at $300 billion,” said a Democrat familiar with the negotiations.

The deal paves the way for the first procedural vote on the bill in the upper house on Saturday, with final passage in the Senate by the end of the week before it is passed by the House of Representatives. Biden said he expects the Senate to consider the bill soon.

If issued, bill will invest $369 billion in clean energy incentives designed to advance the fight against climate change, as well as measures to reduce prescription drug costs by empowering governments to negotiate prices. It will also impose a minimum tax of 15% on large corporations, helping to reduce the budget deficit by $300 billion over the next 10 years.

The plan is much smaller and less ambitious than Biden’s original Build Back Better bill, a $3.5 billion bill, which failed to pass Congress last year amid a split among Democrats. moderate and progressive.

But it would still represent a major legislative victory for the president and the Democrats looking forward midterm elections in November, when they were facing an uphill battle to protect those primarily in the House and Senate.

“I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act that I believe will have the full support of the Senate Democrats,” said Chuck Schumer, majority leader at the House of Representatives. Senate, said in a statement. “I’ve had many productive discussions with members of the conference over the past three days, and we’ve addressed some of the important issues they’ve raised.”

In her statement, Cinema said she would “move forward” on the bill after agreeing to “remove the convertible rate provision, protect advanced manufacturing and boost our clean energy economy”. The act was fiercely opposed by American companies and Republicans in Congress, who criticized it as an extension of Biden’s 2021 spending policies that they say did. The economy is growing too hot.

Sinema also secured a concession from Democrats to exempt write-offs on certain capital investments, known as accelerated depreciation, from minimal taxes, a top priority for business. But Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, wrote on Twitter that he remained “sceptical” about the package.

Agreement with Sinema is subject to Schumer . agreement achieved last month with Joe ManchinWest Virginia senator and another Democrat.

With Republicans united in the opposition, passage of the legislation would require every Democrat in the divided Senate to vote in favor, with Kamala Harris, vice president, casting a decisive vote. It would then need to go through the House to be signed into law by Biden.

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