Democrats are preparing to pass the De-Inflation Act. What will happen next? : NPR

Democrats are preparing to pass the De-Inflation Act.  What will happen next?  : NPR

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Friday that he believes Democrats have the votes needed to pass the Anti-Inflation Act.

Mariam Zuhaib/AP

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Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Friday that he believes Democrats have the votes needed to pass the Anti-Inflation Act.

Mariam Zuhaib/AP

After weeks of negotiations to revive a key part of their election-year agenda, Senate Democrats appear on the verge of reaching a resolution. Climate change, the high cost of prescription drugs and a spending bill that attempts to reduce the deficit by nearly $300 billion.

Three weeks ago, the bill was all but dead when Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., withdrew his support, citing concerns about adding to historically high inflation.

But last week, he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced a deal that surprised others in the Senate., who will begin debating the legislation on Saturday afternoon.

The legislation is a significant step forward for President Biden’s domestic agenda.

“This bill is a game changer for working families and our economy,” Biden said at a White House event on Friday. “I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation and passing it as soon as possible.”

The bill is going through budget reconciliation, which means that each section of the bill must first be reviewed by a Senate parliamentarian to make sure it is actual law that will affect the budget. This review process is often referred to as the “Byrd Bath” after the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

The Inflation Relief Act is still going through the Byrd Bath. Schumer said Friday that lawmakers have all day to consider the bill, and he hopes to introduce it on the floor Saturday afternoon.

After the Sinema deal, Democrats appear to have all 50 votes in their conference

On Thursday night, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she would “move forward” with the legislation; he was the last on the bill, and his support essentially means the Senate has the 50 Democratic votes needed to pass the bill.

In order to get on board, Sinema asked to remove the portion of the bill that narrowed the carried interest tax loophole. The measure affects how private capital is taxed, and Democrats say it would raise $14 billion.

What Sinema wants to add is more revenue. It’s a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks — Schumer said Friday, an aspect of the bill he and progressive Democrats said would raise about $74 billion.

“I’m excited about what we’ve added, and I think it’s exciting for all Democrats and especially progressives,” Schumer said at a press conference on Friday. “I hate share buybacks. I think it’s one of the most self-serving things corporate America has ever done.”

Senators Catherine Cortez-Masto, D-Nev., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz. and added nearly $4 billion in drought resilience, introduced by Rep. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. Sinema also demanded this addition to the bill.

There is still criticism of the bill from Senator Bernie Sanders, who has argued that the legislation does not do enough for working-class Americans. raising the minimum wage, making child care more affordable, or solving the student debt crisis.

He took to the Senate floor on Wednesday and called it the “Inflation Reduction Act.”

“As currently written, this is an extremely modest piece of legislation that does virtually nothing to address the major crises facing working families across the country today,” he said.

He added that he plans to raise his concerns during the amendment process over the weekend, but a scenario where Sanders’ concerns prevent him from voting on the bill is unlikely.

Another possible hurdle for the bill is opposition from progressives in the House, who are set to return to consider the legislation later next week.

The big mystery is when the final vote will come

While senators wait for a Senate lawmaker to finish reviewing the bill, both sides are preparing for a 20-hour bipartisan debate that will begin after Schumer introduces the bill.

Democrats are likely to get most of their time back. And some reports It could also show Republicans, so it could be a shorter process than expected. If so, the “vote-rama” could begin Saturday night, when senators are allowed to make an unlimited number of amendments to the bill.

It is also allowed to call for the entire 700-page text of the bill to be read aloud during the vote.

It caps a busy and successful stretch for Biden’s domestic agenda

Over the past few weeks, the Senate has voted on the bill a measure to expand health care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, a semiconductor bill, and to allow Finland and Sweden into NATO — and all of those votes have been bipartisan.

Schumer, however, made it clear that Senate Democrats would also go it alone if necessary, which is what they did with this bill. No Republicans will vote for the legislation, but with Vice President Harris tied, Democrats could still win.

It caps a busy week on Capitol Hill and sets up a busy week for the president, who already has multiple bills to sign into law next week.

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