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Manchin torpedoes Democrats’ hopes for passing sweeping climate action and tax hikes

Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday dealt a devastating blow to Democrats’ hopes for sweeping legislation this year, telling Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his staff “unequivocally” that he will not support the climate or tax provisions of a Democratic economic package. two sources familiar with the talks told CNN. The two had been negotiating for months, and Schumer, D-New York, had made some concessions to water down climate provisions to appease Manchin, whose support is critical in an even Senate.Related video above: Analysis: Biden on US economic woes But the moderate West Virginia Democrat, who has cited increased federal spending as a major driver of inflation, won’t back down and told Schumer he won’t consider raising taxes on the wealthy or corporations. Manchin is open to letting Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices and extending enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies for two years, one of the sources said, suggesting that’s all Democrats are likely to get into the package .The change in tone of the latest negotiations was abrupt. Manchin had supported those provisions throughout negotiations with the majority leader, both at the staff and membership levels, one of the sources said. News of Manchin’s comments to Democratic leadership, first reported by the Washington Post, was met with outrage by climate activists and many of his fellow Democrats, who have previously bristled at Manchin’s refusal to support some of the party’s most ambitious spending proposals. In December, Manchin had torpedoed a $1.75 trillion version of Biden’s climate and economic bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, angering the White House and Democrats who had pushed for a much larger $3.5 trillion spending plan at the beginning of the Biden administration. “I’m not going to plead my frustration here, especially since almost all of the climate and energy issues have been resolved,” Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, whose committee had jurisdiction over the tax credits for the clean energy and corporate tax provisions. said in a statement “This is our last chance to prevent the most devastating – and costly – effects of climate change. We cannot go back in another decade and prevent hundreds of billions—if not trillions—in economic damage and reverse the inevitable human tax,” added the Oregon Democrat. Similarly, climate advocates, many of whom expected to see the text of the climate and energy bill soon, reacted Thursday night with shock and outrage.” This is nothing short of the death penalty,” Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the youth climate group Sunrise Movement, said in a statement. “It’s clear that appealing to corporate obstructionists isn’t working and will cost us a generation of voters.” “There really are no words for how horrified, outraged and disappointed we are,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, said. Manchin’s office pointed to rising inflation. “Political headlines are worthless. for the millions of Americans struggling to afford food and gas as inflation soars to 9.1 percent,” Manchin spokeswoman Sam Runyon said. “Senator Manchin believes it’s time for leaders to put aside political agendas, review and adapt to the economic realities facing the country to avoid taking measures that add fuel to the inflationary fire.” Data released on Wednesday showed that inflation soared in a new pandemic era peaking in June, with US consumer prices to jump 9.1% year-on-year – the highest the level in more than 40 years. But Evergreen Action co-founder Jamal Raad told CNN that Manchin’s argument for not spending more to avoid worsening inflation missed the mark when it came to energy and climate. he’s even dealing with solving inflation because the main driver of inflation has been natural gas prices and he’s decided that we need to invest more in fossil fuels,” Raad said. Democrats are now pushing to get the Affordable Care Act subsidies extended before the August recess to avoid big rate hikes that will be announced just before the November midterm elections. The subsidies were expanded as part of the Democrats’ American Rescue Act and made coverage on the Obamacare exchanges more affordable, leading to record enrollment this year. If allowed to expire at the end of the year, nearly all 13 million subsidized enrollees would see their premiums rise for 2023, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than 3 million people could become uninsured, an Urban Institute analysis found. Democrats hope to avoid the negative publicity of such premium increases. If Congress doesn’t act, consumers will find out in the fall how much more they could be paying. Open enrollment begins on November 1, one week before Election Day.

Senator Joe Manchin on Thursday delivered a devastating blow Democrats hope for sweeping legislative action this yeartelling Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his staff “without a doubt” that he would not support the climate or tax provisions of a Democratic economic package, two sources familiar with the talks told CNN.

The two had been negotiating for months, and Schumer, a New York Democrat, had made some concessions to water down climate provisions to appease Manchin, whose support is critical in an evenly-opposed Senate.

Related video above: Analysis: Biden on US economic woes

But the moderate West Virginia Democrat, who has cited increased federal spending as a major driver of inflation, won’t back down and told Schumer he won’t consider raising taxes on the wealthy or corporations.

Manchin is open to allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extending the Affordable Care Act’s enhanced subsidies for two years, one of the sources said, suggesting that’s all they’re likely to have. Democrats in the pack.

The change in tone of the latest negotiations was abrupt. Manchin had supported those provisions throughout negotiations with the majority leader, both at the staff and membership levels, one of the sources said.

News of Manchin’s comments to Democratic leadership was first reported by The Washington Post, was met with outrage from climate activists and many of his fellow Democrats, who have previously bristled at Manchin’s refusal to support some of the party’s most ambitious spending proposals. In December, Manchin had torpedoed one $1.75 trillion issue of Biden’s climate and economic bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, angering the White House and Democrats who had pushed for a much larger $3.5 trillion spending plan early in the Biden administration.

“I’m not going to plead my frustration here, especially since almost all of the climate and energy issues have been resolved,” Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, whose committee had jurisdiction over the tax credits for the clean energy and corporate tax provisions. he said in a statement.

“This is our last chance to prevent the most devastating – and costly – effects of climate change. We cannot go back in another decade and prevent hundreds of billions – if not trillions – in economic damage and undo the inevitable human death. ” added the Oregon Democrat.

Similarly, climate advocates, many of whom expected to see the text of the climate and energy bill soon, reacted Thursday night with shock and outrage.

“This is nothing short of a death sentence,” Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the youth climate group Sunrise Movement, said in a statement. “It’s clear that appealing to corporate obstructionists isn’t working and will cost us a generation of voters.”

“There are really no words for how horrified, outraged and disappointed we are,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters.

Manchin’s office pointed to rising inflation. “Political headlines mean nothing to the millions of Americans struggling to afford food and gas as inflation soars to 9.1 percent,” said Manchin spokeswoman Sam Runyon. “Senator Manchin believes it is time for leaders to put aside political agendas, reassess and adapt to the economic realities facing the country to avoid taking actions that add fuel to the fire of inflation.”

Data released on Wednesday showed inflation surged to a new pandemic-era peak in June, with US consumer prices rising by 9.1% on an annual basis-the highest level in more than 40 years.

But Evergreen Action co-founder Jamal Raad told CNN that Manchin’s argument for not spending more to avoid worsening inflation missed the mark when it came to energy and climate.

“He’s not even dealing with solving inflation because the main driver of inflation has been natural gas prices and he’s decided we need to invest more in fossil fuels,” Raad said.

Democrats are now pushing to extend Affordable Care Act subsidies before the August recess to avoid big rate hikes that will be announced just before the November midterm elections.

The subsidies were expanded as part of the Democrats’ American Rescue Act and made coverage on the Obamacare exchanges more affordable, leading to record enrollment this year. If allowed to expire at the end of the year, nearly all 13 million subsidized enrollees would see their premiums rise for 2023, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than 3 million people could become uninsured, according to an Urban Institute analysis.

Democrats hope to avoid the negative publicity of such premium increases. If Congress doesn’t act, consumers will find out in the fall how much more they could be paying. Open enrollment begins on November 1, one week before Election Day.

Manchin torpedoes Democrats’ hopes for passing sweeping climate action and tax hikes Source link Manchin torpedoes Democrats’ hopes for passing sweeping climate action and tax hikes

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