On Wednesday, July 27th, 2022, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that they had reached a deal on a budget reconciliation package, two weeks after negotiations on climate change fell apart. The news came as a surprise to many colleagues, as the two Senators met in secret to discuss the details and strategically waited until the passage of another bill, which Republicans would have otherwise blocked, to announce the deal, reports the Hill.
Last year’s Build Back Better reconciliation package included a large number of legislative proposals, but the new bill, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, is a much more modest package, focusing on just a few key priorities.
Although not as far-reaching as Build Back Better, this reconciliation package includes some very significant advancements:
- Lowers energy costs, increases cleaner production, and reduces carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030
- Allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000
- Lowers ACA health care premiums for millions of Americans
- Make biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share
- There are no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses – closing tax loopholes and enforcing the tax code
- Deficit reduction
Even with these important provisions, there is nothing specifically for children and families in the bill; the Expanded Child Tax Credit, child care, and paid leave programs are not included in this version of reconciliation.
In terms of next steps, the bill has been sent to the Senate Parliamentarian to determine if it meets the requirements necessary to be included in a budget reconciliation process, and it is expected that Senate Majority Leader Schumer will bring it to the floor this week. At this time, it is unknown if Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will support the bill, as there are tax provisions included that she did not support in last year’s version, and all 50 Democrats will need to vote yes to pass it.
If the Senate is able to pass it next week, the bill will go to the House for passage; the House will likely come back from recess to do so. Even though this version does not include everything House Democrats had hoped to achieve, advocates believe that they will vote on the bill as it stands, rather than risk losing Senate support by making changes to the package.