On Sunday, after a series of marathon votes and more than a year of planning and negotiation, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act — their signature piece of legislation that would both tackle climate change and lower prescription drugs cost.
All 50 Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris voted to pass the bill after a marathon series of votes on the amendment, known as “vote-a-rama.” The bill will now go to the House of Representatives, where it could be swiftly passed later this week. If signed, it would be the largest investment in the fight against climate change in U.S. history.
While it still faces a vote in the House, given that Democrats have only 50 senators and conservative Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona have raised strong objections to various sections, So it’s always going to be harder to get it through the Senate. of the proposed legislation.
With that in mind, here are four big winners and two big losers following this weekend’s vote.
Winner: President Joe Biden
The passage of the bill is a clear victory for Biden, especially since he has made tackling climate change a key part of his domestic and international agenda. The vote comes as Biden has made a string of bipartisan achievements, such as passing an infrastructure bill, a gun law and legislation to support U.S. semiconductor manufacturing. But all of this is bipartisan, not part of the bold agenda that Mr. Biden has promised to pass when media reports say he will be the next Franklin Roosevelt. By passing the legislation, he showed he was serious about tackling climate change and lowering the price of prescription drugs. Mr. Biden’s approval ratings have fallen sharply over the past year, and while that doesn’t guarantee his approval ratings will improve, it does prove he has a track record of achievement: some show he can make a deal with Republicans, others that he Know when to avoid bipartisanship.
Loser: Senator Bernie Sanders
Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock’s runoff victory in Georgia in 2021 makes the Vermont independent and former presidential candidate chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Initially, Mr. Sanders hoped to pass a $6 trillion plan through budget adjustments — which would allow legislation to pass a simple majority as long as it was budget-related. But the legislation was eventually negotiated down to 3.5 tonnes and then again to 1.75 tonnes before Mr Manchin pulled out of talks in December. Eventually, Mr. Sanders was frozen as negotiations resumed directly between Mr. Schumer and Mr. Manchin.In turn, the self-identified democratic socialist eventually tried to propose amendments during the ballot, but nearly all Democrats rejected them because they wanted to make sure it wouldn’t change the deal and alienate one of the other members. Likewise, when Mr Sanders said in a speech ‘actually it has little effect on inflation’, Republicans say repeated his talking points. Sanders started the process as one of the most influential senators, losing nearly all of his influence.
Winner: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
During much of Mr. Schumer’s tenure as Senate minority leader, he was often used against his Republican opponent Mitch McConnell (one known for being utterly ruthless when wielding power regardless of public opinion) or Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (often regarded as the best voting counter in Washington. Likewise, since taking office, Mr. Schumer has conducted a series of purely performative votes, unable to overcome Republican filibusters or convince Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema to change their minds about the 60-vote threshold. But with the passage of the Reducing Inflation Act, Mr. Schumer could prove he can incorporate a diverse group like Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin Coalition. Also, aside from some occasional defections, the Democratic caucus insisted on making sure Republicans didn’t include any poison pills. One example of Republicans becoming overconfident comes from…
Loser: Senate Minority Whip John Thune
The Republican whip is often seen as a potential successor to Mr McConnell. Likewise, he enjoys a warm relationship with Kyrsten Sinema.However, Mr Thune pulled a really bold student towards the end of the “vote Rama”, where he sought to exempt the Democrats’ proposed 15% corporate minimum tax Private Equity Subsidiary According to Business Insider, and wants to pay for that by continuing to cap state and local taxes imposed by the Trump tax cuts. Mr Thune hopes to tempt Ms Sinema with an amendment that would repel House Democrats in New York and New Jersey who oppose the cap. In the end, Ms. Sinema, along with six other Democrats, voted for the amendment. But Democrats replaced it with Sen. Mark Warner’s amendment. Mr Thune’s attempt to get Ms Sinema to vote for the poison pill that could kill the entire bill turned out he had not considered how Democrats would fight back and showed that he did not yet have the ruse that the man nicknamed “Cocaine Mickey” had.
Winner: Senator Joe Manchin
His name could also become blasphemous after West Virginia Democrats initially proposed “Build Back Better” for social spending legislation last year. Many may still find him endlessly frustrating. But through the deal with Mr. Schumer, he showed he could get a “yes” and that he was willing to be a team player, even voting against all proposed Republican amendments during the “ballot.” While many Democrats may not like the legislature’s much smaller price tag than “Better to Rebuild,” it shows he can negotiate and be a willing partner under the right circumstances. Oddly, Mr. Sanders’ opposition could help Mr. Manchin sell the bill, because it means he can create some sunshine between Mr. Sanders and himself as a moderate.he even tellindependent, “It’s not Bernie’s bill.”
Loser: Senator Kyrsten Sinema
While Mr. Manchin has often been open about his reservations about the legislation — and even sometimes contradicted himself on aspects of what eventually became the Inflation Reduction Act — Ms. Sinema has often kept her colleagues in the dark. Ms. Sinema often refuses to speak to the media, preferring to speak directly to negotiators. But she sent most of the Democratic conference into a frenzy when she said she was open to Mr Thune’s amendment. Likewise, Rep. Ruben Gallego, a progressive Democrat who has expressed interest in a major challenge to her in 2024, is unhappy with her decision to stick with what he sees as a tax cut for private equity firms. That forced overtime from Democrats such as Mr. Schumer, Mr. Warner and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. At one point, Ms. Sinema seemed more focused on her phone than her colleagues. By the end of the vote, however, it seemed all was forgiven as she embraced many of her Democratic colleagues. But it’s entirely possible that she violated their trust by subjecting herself to the main challenge.