Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has not said yet when he hopes to begin debate on the $740 billion healthcare, climate and tax package that Democrats are readying for passage through the budget reconciliation process.
The package is still waiting on guidance from the Senate Parliamentarian on the total package but Schumer may choose to hold a vote-a-rama on amendments this weekend if possible. Schumer cleared a major hurdle a week ago in securing Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) support for the package but Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-AZ) views on the bill remain unclear.
Schumer is aware of the stakes in securing what would be a major political victory for Democrats and President Joe Biden.
“This is a very historic and comprehensive piece of legislation,” Schumer said this week. “It’s historic. It’s groundbreaking. It’s things that we have looked at to try to do for a generation.”
The package, now titled the Inflation Reduction Act, includes some of the provisions that the White House wanted from its massive Build Back Better plan, including prescription drug pricing reform; a three-year extension of subsidies for Affordable Care Act premiums; roughly $370 billion in energy and climate spending; and a 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations.
“The idea that we can finally get prescription drug costs down and allow negotiations; the idea that we can close loopholes and cause wealthy individuals and corporations to pay at least a fairer share of tax; the idea that we can actually reduce inflation while doing all these things and creating good-paying jobs; and the idea that we finally will start leading the world instead of following the world in terms of reducing the amount of carbon – poison carbon – that’s thrown into our atmosphere, it’s just breathtaking,” Schumer said.
Schumer received good news from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week, which estimated that the package would reduce federal budget deficits by $102 billion over 10 years. In addition, CBO projected that increasing the Internal Revenue Service budget would generate $204 billion in new revenue by enabling the agency to crack down on tax avoidance.
This article was provided to OSAP by ASAE's Power of Associations and Inroads.