Can Senate Democrats get Sinema on board for Manchin-backed spending deal?

Washington Examiner

A deal between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a healthcare, tax, and climate proposal, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, has cast a new spotlight on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who is the only unclear Senate Democratic vote on the legislation.

The bill is a scaled-back alternative to Build Back Better, a sweeping social spending and green energy bill that Manchin killed last year when he objected to its price tag and raised concerns over inflation. Sinema also did not support the previous version of the bill.

The deal on a revamped measure was announced by Manchin just hours after the Senate passed the bipartisan CHIPS Act on Wednesday, aimed at helping the United States microprocessing industry compete against China. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had previously threatened to tank that measure if Democrats pursued a reconciliation bill, which requires a bare Senate majority for passage, rather than 60 votes. Senate and House Democrats expressed surprise and cautious optimism, while Republicans blasted the deal, which caught them flat-footed. The White House offered its support, while Biden lamented that the bill wasn’t everything he wanted.

But Sinema has not yet made her position on the bill clear, with her office telling reporters she was reviewing the text.

The deal does contain a measure closing the so-called carried interest tax loophole, which Sinema opposed during original negotiations.

In a press call with reporters via Zoom Thursday, Manchin said he had not spoken to Sinema about the deal. Sinema also did not attend a Thursday meeting among Senate Democrats on the bill.

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