Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
Cyber Monday Extended SALE: Up to 60% OFF InvestingPro+ CLAIM OFFER

U.S. Senate Democrats hope for green light on $430 billion climate, drug bill

Economic Indicators Aug 01, 2022 08:26PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters after the weekly senate party caucus luncheons at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democrats on Monday were awaiting a ruling from a chamber referee this week on whether they can override the legislature's normal rules to pass a $430 billion drugs, energy and tax bill despite Republican objections.

The decision by the referee, officially known as the "parliamentarian," will have a profound impact on President Joe Biden's domestic agenda heading into the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans are favored to win back control of the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate amid voter discontent over inflation.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday confirmed that he planned to begin debate this week.

Under the "reconciliation" procedure Democrats are hoping to use to pass the bill, only a simple majority of votes in the 100-member chamber would be needed to steer the bill towards passage, instead of the 60 needed for most legislation.

With the Senate split 50-50 among Democrats and Republicans, the process would allow for passage as Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris could break any tie vote and secure a victory for Biden.

The bill being reviewed by the Senate parliamentarian was crafted by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who has often stood in the way of key Biden priorities, and with the blessing of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Still unknown, however, is whether Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema, like Manchin a maverick in the caucus, will lend her support.

A Sinema spokesperson said she was still reviewing the bill and would also wait to see which provisions, if any, the parliamentarian allows to stay in the bill.

Without Sinema's vote the entire effort could be doomed, as no Republicans were expected to vote yes on what Democrats are calling the "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022."

It would provide new federal funding for a significant reduction in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change and allow Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, to negotiate lower pharmaceutical prices. Tax increases aimed at the wealthy would partially offset the costs, with lower drug prices also saving the government money, the bill's backers say.

But Republicans have been attacking the measure, arguing it will violate a Biden pledge to not raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000 annually. Senator Mike Crapo, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, criticized the bill as he released an analysis he requested from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan congressional panel.

The JCT report said the bill's tax provisions would indirectly raise the effective tax burden on Americans with incomes of $200,000 or less, by $16.7 billion in 2023.

The tax burden effect in the JCT analysis is due to small estimated reductions of incomes from potential wage cuts that could result from companies' higher tax bills, or lower stock values, said Kimberly Clausing, a tax law professor at the University of California-Los Angeles and a former U.S. Treasury tax official.

The legislation would raise the tax burden by another $14.1 billion on taxpayers with annual incomes of between $200,000 and $500,000, according to the JCT analysis.

Democrats on the finance committee, which oversees tax policy, say the analysis is "incomplete."

"A family making less than $400,000 will not pay one penny in additional taxes," Ashley Schapitl, spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee Democrats, said in a statement. "It doesn’t include the benefits to middle-class families of making health insurance premiums and prescription drugs more affordable. The same goes for clean energy incentives for families."

(This story has been refiled to delete extraneous word in first sentence)

U.S. Senate Democrats hope for green light on $430 billion climate, drug bill

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Erski Gumby
SB20 Aug 01, 2022 8:49PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items is spambot infested.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email