WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Democrats say they have secured the votes to pass major legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act after they struck a deal with Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
Senator Sinema demanded changes to the bill in exchange for her vote, forcing Democrats to cut a provision that closed a tax loophole allowing hedge fund and investment managers to pay lower taxes.
“Senator Sinema said she would not vote for the bill, not even move to proceed unless we took it out,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said.
But Senate Majority Leader Schumer says Democrats added a new tax on corporate stock buybacks, and a provision for a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% also remains in the package, all designed to reduce the federal deficit.
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“We’re now one step closer to enacting this historic legislation into law,” Schumer said.
President Biden says the bill will fight inflation and “Will lower prescription drug costs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.”
The package will also extend Affordable Care Act tax credits to avert a 25% hike in premiums.
But the bill is also about slowing climate change by spending $369 billion on renewable energy and tax credits for electric cars and other energy-saving measures.
While Democrats call the bill the Inflation Reduction Act, Republican Roger Wicker (R-MS) says that would not pass truth in labeling laws.
“This is not going to reduce inflation, what it’s going to do is tax job creators,” Wicker said.
Republicans promise to fight back in a special session of the senate this weekend.
“We’re going to do everything we can, as I have said before, to defeat this bill and we’ll be offering a lot of amendments,” Senator John Thune (R-SD) said.
While Republicans cannot stop the legislation if all Democratic senators, including Sinema, vote yes, Senator Lindsey Graham says they intend to drag out the process.