Democrats Say They’ve Reached Agreement on US Economic Package
Senate Democrats have reached an accord on eleventh-hour changes to their top-priority economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, clearing their major hurdle to moving the measure through the chamber in coming days.
Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, 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, a Democrat, 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.
Schumer has said he hopes the Senate can begin voting on the energy, environment, health and tax measure on Saturday. Passage by the House, which Democrats control narrowly, could come next week.
Final congressional approval of the election-year measure would be a marquee achievement for President Joe Biden and his party, notching an accomplishment they could tout to voters as November approaches.
Sinema said Democrats had agreed to remove a provision raising taxes on “carried interest,” or profits that go to executives of private equity firms. That’s been a proposal she has long opposed, though it is a favorite of other Democrats, including conservative West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, an architect of the overall bill.
The carried interest provision was estimated to produce $13 billion for the government over the coming decade, a small portion of the measure’s $739 billion in total revenue.
It will be replaced by a new excise tax on stock buybacks, which will bring in more revenue than that, said one Democrat familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deal publicly.
The official provided no other details.
The Senate won’t be in session Friday as Democrats continue their talks. That pause will also provide time for the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, to decide if any of the bill’s provisions violate the chamber’s rules and should be removed.