On Sunday, after a long series of votes and more than a year of planning and negotiating, Democratic senators passed the Inflation Reduction Act — legislation that would define them and that would tackle climate change and lower prescription drug costs.
All 50 Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris voted to pass the bill after a long series of votes on the amendments known as the “Vote for Rama”. The bill is now heading to the House of Representatives, where it will likely face rapid passage later this week. If signed, it would be the largest investment in the fight against climate change in US history.
While it still faces a House vote, its passage through the Senate has always been tougher due to the fact that Democrats only have 50 senators and conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona have had serious objections to Various parts of the proposed legislation.
With that in mind, here are four big winners and big losers after the weekend vote.
Winner: President Joe Biden
The passage of the legislation is an unmistakable victory for Biden, especially as he has made combating climate change an essential part of his domestic and international agenda. The vote comes as Biden has achieved a slate of bipartisan achievements, such as passing an infrastructure bill, a weapons bill and legislation to support semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. But all of these were bipartisan and not part of the bold agenda Biden promised he would pass when media reports said he would be the next Franklin Roosevelt. By passing this legislation, he is showing that he is serious about tackling climate change and lowering prescription drug prices. Biden’s approval rating has fallen dramatically in the past year, and while that’s no guarantee his numbers will improve, it makes a legitimate case that he has a track record: some showing he can cut deals with Republicans and others showing he knows him. When to avoid bipartisanship.
Loser: Senator Bernie Sanders
The victories of Democratic Senators John Osoff and Raphael Warnock in the 2021 Georgia run-off have made Vermont an independent and former presidential candidate chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Initially, Sanders hoped to pass a $6 trillion program through budget compromise — allowing the legislation to pass through a simple majority as long as it pertains to the budget. But the legislation was eventually negotiated to $3.5 trillion before dropping back to $1.75 trillion before Manchin pulled out of negotiations in December. In the end, Mr. Sanders was frozen as negotiations resumed directly between Mr. Schumer and Mr. Manchin. In turn, the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist ended up trying to propose amendments on the floor during the Rama vote, but nearly all Democrats rejected it because they wanted to ensure the deal wouldn’t change and one of the other members was removed. . Likewise, when Sanders said in an address to the chamber that “it will, in fact, have little effect on inflation,” Repeat talking points. Sanders began this process as one of the most influential senators after being stripped of nearly all influence.
Winner: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
During most of Schumer’s tenure as a minority leader in the Senate, he was often compared to either his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell, a man known for his utter cruelty in exercising power without regard for public opinion, or Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, often considered Washington’s best vote counter. Likewise, since taking office, Schumer has had a string of purely performative votes that just couldn’t beat Republican stalling and couldn’t convince Manchin and Ms. Cinema to change their minds on the 60-vote threshold. But with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Schumer can prove he can fit into a coalition as diverse as Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin. Furthermore, with the exception of a few occasional defections, the Democratic caucus stuck to the line to ensure that the Republicans did not include any poison pills. One example of Republicans becoming too confident of…
Loser: Minority Senate Whip John Thune
The Republican Whip is often seen as a possible successor to McConnell. Similarly, he also enjoys a warm relationship with Kirsten Sinema. However, towards the end of the “Vote in Rama,” Thon attracted a really bold student as he attempted to create a 15 percent corporate tax relief proposed by Democrats for private equity companies It hopes to pay for it by continuing to cap state and local taxes through Trump’s tax cuts, according to Business Insider. Thun hoped to entice Cinema with the amendment, which would have expelled House Democrats from New York and New Jersey who oppose the cap. In the end, Ms. Senema and six other Democrats voted for the amendment. But Democrats replaced it with an amendment from Senator Mark Warner. Thon’s attempt to get Ms. Senema to vote for a poison pill that could kill the entire bill shows she hadn’t thought about how the Democrats would stand up, and it turns out he doesn’t yet have the tricks that the man nicknamed “Cocaine Mitch” has.
Winner: Senator Joe Manchin
The West Virginia Democrats’ name may also have become a profanity after the Build Back Better Project, the initial proposed social spending legislation, was killed last year. Many may still find it endlessly frustrating. But with his agreement with Mr. Schumer, he showed he could get to a “yes” and was ready to be a team player, even voting against all proposed Republican amendments during a “Vote in Rama”. While many Democrats may hate that legislation is so much less expensive than building better, it shows that it can be negotiated with and can be a willing partner under the right circumstances. Oddly enough, Sanders’ objections likely helped Manchin sell the bill because it meant he could create some daylight between him and him as a moderator. he is until he saidindependent, “This is not Bernie’s bill.”
Loser: Senator Kirsten Sinema
While Mr. Manchin was often outspoken about his reservations about the legislation — sometimes even contradicting himself about various aspects of what eventually became the Inflation Reduction Act — Cinema has often left her colleagues in the dark. Ms. Senema often refuses to speak to the press, preferring to speak directly to negotiators. But she made much of the Democratic convention go crazy when she expressed her openness to the Thun Amendment. Likewise, Progressive Democratic Rep. Robin Gallego — who said he was interested in a first challenge against her in 2024 — caused uproar over her decision to stick with what he saw as a tax break for private equity firms. That forced Democrats such as Schumer Warner and Senator Elizabeth Warren to work overtime. At one point, Cinema seemed to focus more on her phone than her co-workers. But by the end of the vote, it seemed like everything had been forgiven him as she hugged several of her fellow Democrats. But it’s entirely possible that she breached their trust and opened herself up to a fundamental challenge.