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Democrats say they’ve reached agreement on economic package

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have reached an accord on eleventh-hour changes to their top-priority economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, clearing a major hurdle to moving the measure through the chamber in coming days.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., a centrist who was seen as the pivotal vote, said in a statement that she had agreed to changes in the measure’s tax and energy provisions and was ready to “move forward” on the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said lawmakers had achieved a compromise “that I believe will receive the support” of all Democrats in the chamber. His party needs unanimity to move the measure through the 50-50 Senate, along with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

The election-year bill, housing President Joe Biden’s and congressional Democrats’ top priorities, would provide hundreds of billions in spending and tax credits to spur clean energy, reinforce fossil fuels and renew government support for people buying private health insurance.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., jogs up the steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)


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It would raise revenue with tax boosts, beefed up IRS tax collections and curbs on drug prices, which would save money for the government and patients.

“We prioritize the middle class and working families, instead of those at the very top. God bless them, they’re doing fine,” Schumer said.

Republicans are on track to oppose the legislation unanimously, saying its tax boosts and spending would worsen inflation and damage the economy.

“What do Democrats want to do with all the money they want to drain out of Americans’ pockets in the midst of a recession?” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “They want to lavish hundreds of billions of dollars on an issue that exactly 3% of the country says is our biggest problem: far-left environmental and climate spending.”

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