Democrats and Sinema reach an agreement on new taxes in the health and climate law


Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) said she would soon be ready to “move forward” on a revised version of the Senate Democrats’ health care, climate and deficit reduction package, opening the door for party lawmakers to adopt the long -bill stalled as early as this weekend.

Sinema offered his critical support after Democratic leaders agreed to scale back some of his original tax proposals, ending days of speculation about his public silence and bringing his party one step closer to fulfilling a core element of the President’s economic agenda. Biden.

In a statement, Sinema said Democrats had “agreed to scrap” a key tax policy aimed at wealthy investors that was aimed at addressing what is known as the “earned interest loophole.” He also noted that they had made additional adjustments to a second provision that imposes a new minimum tax on corporations that currently pay nothing to the US government.

The latest set of revisions is likely to benefit some manufacturers, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe unpublished details. Sinema had been asked by many corporate executives, including Arizona business leaders, to consider the consequences of the tax in recent days.

With it, Democrats opted to seek a new 1 percent tax on corporate stock buybacks, a move that would offset at least some of the revenue that might have been lost as a result of the changes, the two people familiar with the matter said. . And party lawmakers agreed to set aside new money at Sinema’s request to respond to climate problems, including drought, according to the sources.

From here, Sinema said he would await a final review by the House MP, a critical step in the process that allows Democrats to move forward on their spending bill, at which point he would “advance” the measure known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Biden praised the development, describing it in a statement Thursday night as a “critical step in reducing inflation and the cost of living for American families.”

“I hope that the Senate will take this legislation and pass it as soon as possible,” the president said.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) touted a new Democratic bill on July 31 while Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)’s views on the bill were unknown. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

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The changes appear to have helped Democratic leaders thread a narrow needle, satisfying Sinema while preserving the thrust of the deal that Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) crafted. with another moderate: Senator Joe Manchin III (DW). .Va.), last week.

Sinema did not participate in those talks, even though he is a key Democratic swing vote, sometimes skeptical of his own party’s tax and spending ambitions. His public silence in recent days fueled speculation that he may have harbored serious reservations about the new bill, a successor to the roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act that House Democrats adopted last year. . Even Republicans at one point tried to take advantage of the uncertainty, urging Sinema to challenge his own party.

In recent days, Manchin has remained steadfast in his support for the deal he struck, the original version of which was expected to generate more than $768 billion in revenue over the next decade. Any change to relieve Sinema threatened to cut into the roughly $300 billion expected to be available for deficit reduction, a major problem for Manchin.

Democrats did not offer a full new estimate of their revised tax policies Thursday night. However, in a statement, Schumer said he hoped he would “receive the support of the entire Senate Democratic conference.” And he said the bill would still reduce the deficit by $300 billion.

The deal allows the party to proceed under Schumer’s timetable, beginning debate on the measure with a vote as early as Saturday. To prevail, Sinema’s vote is crucial: Only by uniting can Democrats overcome a Republican filibuster and adopt their long-stalled economic measure using the process known as reconciliation.

On July 27, Sen. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) reached an agreement with Democratic leaders on a landmark bill to combat climate change and lower health care costs. (Video: Mahlia Posey/The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Under the new plan, Democrats now seek to impose a new tax on the money companies spend to buy back their own shares, the two sources familiar with the matter said. Party lawmakers have long opposed such practices, arguing that they benefit big business’ share prices at the expense of workers and the broader economy.

In adding the new tax, Democrats also appeared to rethink their initial plans to impose a minimum 15 percent tax on corporations. The exact details of the change are unclear, but Sinema said in a statement that their deal would “protect advanced manufacturing.”

And Democrats scrapped his proposal to target taxes on private equity and hedge fund managers, an attempt to close what’s known as the “earned interest loophole.”

Initially, the bill sought to change the way these investors pay taxes on fees paid to them by their clients, subjecting them to higher rates. But they scrapped their original plans in response to Sinema, who said he would work with Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) to address the issue while “protecting investments in the U.S. economy” and closing “the most egregious loopholes that some abuse to evade the payment of taxes”.

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