On Sunday, after a marathon of votes and more than a year of planning and negotiations, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act — their signature piece of legislation that would both tackle climate change and work to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. to lower.
All 50 Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris voted to pass the bill after a marathon series of votes on amendments known as a “vote-a-rama”. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is likely to be passed quickly later this week. If signed, it will be the largest investment in fighting climate change in US history.
While there is still a vote in the House, it would always be harder to get it through the Senate, given that Democrats only have 50 senators and conservative Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona strongly objected. different parts. of the proposed legislation.
With this in mind, here are four big winners and two big losers after this weekend’s vote.
Winner: President Joe Biden
The passing of the legislation is an unequivocal victory for Mr Biden, especially as he has made combating climate change a key part of his national and international agenda. The vote comes as Mr. Biden has made a series of two-pronged feats, including passing an infrastructure bill, a weapons bill, and legislation to support semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. But those were all bipartisan and not part of the bold agenda Biden promised he would succeed if media reports said he would be the next Franklin Roosevelt. By passing this legislation, he shows that he is serious about tackling both climate change and lowering the prices of prescription drugs. Biden’s valuation has plummeted over the past year, and while this isn’t a guarantee his numbers will improve, it’s legitimate that he has a track record: some showing he can make deals with Republicans and others showing. that he knows when to avoid bipartisanship.
Loser: Senator Bernie Sanders
The 2021 victories of Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia made the Vermont Independent and former presidential candidate chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Initially, Mr. Sanders hoped to approve a $6 trillion program through budget reconciliation – allowing legislation to be passed by a simple majority, as long as it relates to the budget. But the legislation eventually negotiated to $3.5 trillion, before dropping back to $1.75 trillion before Manchin pulled out of the negotiations in December. In the end, Mr Sanders was frozen when negotiations resumed directly between Mr Schumer and Mr Manchin. In turn, the self-identified Democratic Socialist ended up proposing amendments to the floor during the vote, but nearly all Democrats rejected them because they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t change the deal and alienate any of the other members. Likewise, when Mr Sanders said in a speech on the floor, “it will have minimal impact on inflation, in fact,” Republicans repeated his topics of conversation. Sanders began this process as one of the most influential senators to one who was stripped of almost all influence.
Winner: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
For much of his tenure as minority leader in the Senate, he was often compared to his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell, a man known for his brutality in wielding power without regard for public opinion, or Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. , often considered the best vote counter in Washington. Similarly, since the acquisition, Mr. Schumer has had a string of purely performative votes that failed to overcome a Republican filibuster and failed to convince Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema to change their minds over the 60-vote threshold. But with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Schumer can claim he can form a coalition as diverse as Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin. In addition, barring a few occasional defectors, the Democratic caucus held the line to make sure Republicans weren’t using poison pills. One of the examples of overconfident Republicans comes from…
Loser: Senate Minority Whip John Thune
The Republican whip is often seen as a possible successor to McConnell. Likewise, he also has a warm relationship with Kyrsten Sinema. However, towards the end of the vote-a-rama, Mr. Thune attracted a really daring student, where he tried to create an exemption from the Democrats’ proposed minimum tax of 15 percent for private equity subsidiaries and hoped to pay for it by continuing a cap on the state and local taxes imposed by the Trump tax cuts, according to Business Insider. Mr. Thune hoped to seduce Ms. Sinema with the amendment, which would have repelled the opposing House Democrats from New York and New Jersey. In the end, Ms Sinema, as well as six other Democrats, voted for the amendment. But the Democrats replaced it with an amendment from Senator Mark Warner. Mr. Thune’s attempt to get Ms. Sinema to vote for a poison pill that could destroy the entire bill turned out to be disregarding how the Democrats would react and shows that he doesn’t yet have the ruses the man with the nickname can do. ‘Cocaine Mitch’ possession.
Winner: Senator Joe Manchin
The name of the West Virginia Democrats might as well have become blasphemy after he killed Build Back Better, their original proposed social spending legislation, last year. Many may still find him endlessly frustrating. But with his deal with Mr. Schumer, he showed he could get “yes” and that he was willing to be a team player even against all proposed Republican amendments during the “vote-a-rama”. While many Democrats may dislike the fact that legislation is significantly smaller in its price tag than Build Back Better, it shows that it can be negotiated and can be a willing partner under the right circumstances. Oddly enough, Mr. Sanders’ objections probably helped Mr. Manchin sell the bill, as it meant that as a moderate, he could create some daylight between Mr. Sanders and himself. He even toldthe independent, “This isn’t Bernie’s bill.”
Loser: Senator Kyrsten Sinema
While Mr Manchin has often been open about his reservations about legislation – sometimes even self-contradictory about various aspects of what eventually became the Inflation Reduction Act – Ms Sinema often left her colleagues in the dark. Ms Sinema often refuses to speak to the press, preferring directly to negotiators. But she infuriated much of the Democratic conference when she opened up to Mr. Thune’s amendment. Similarly, Progressive Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego — who has said he’s interested in mounting a primary challenge against her in 2024 — made noise about her decision to champion what he saw as a tax break for private equity firms. That forced Democrats like Mr. Schumer, Mr. Warner and Senator Elizabeth Warren to work overtime. At one point, Ms. Sinema seemed more focused on her phone than her colleagues. However, at the end of the vote, it seemed all was forgiven as she hugged many of her Democratic colleagues. But it’s entirely possible that she broke their trust and opened herself up to a primary challenge.