Manchin, in a Reversal, Agrees to Climate and Tax Package
WASHINGTON — Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, announced on Wednesday that he had struck a deal with Democratic leaders on a domestic spending package that includes climate and energy programs and tax increases, less than two weeks after abruptly upending hopes for such a deal this summer.
In a statement, Mr. Manchin, who had been his party’s main holdout on an expansive social policy, climate and tax package, confirmed his support for the measure in a statement that did not provide detail on its precise elements. But in the statement, he signaled support for climate and energy programs, as well as some tax provisions, all of which he had previously suggested he could not support because of concerns about inflation.
It was not clear what had changed his mind about the plan, which only weeks ago he had said he could not back until he saw more economic data next month.
“Rather than risking more inflation with trillions in new spending, this bill will cut the inflation taxes Americans are paying, lower the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, and ensure our country invests in the energy security and climate change solutions we need to remain a global superpower through innovation rather than elimination,” Mr. Manchin said in a statement.
Mr. Manchin pointedly christened the bill the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, making a clear distinction between it and the ambitious multitrillion-dollar domestic policy plan President Biden proposed and Democrats in Congress spent most of last year toiling to pass.
“Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together,” Mr. Manchin said. “I will do everything I can to usher in a new era of compromise and common sense that will make America more energy secure, financially sound and a more united country for this generation and the next.”
Democrats had resigned themselves to passing a narrow package aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs and extending expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies before leaving for the August recess, after Mr. Manchin privately told party leaders this month that he would not support any climate or tax proposals in the short term.