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President Biden on Thursday urged Congress to “put politics aside” and pass the reconciliation package, while admitting that the bill is “far from perfect” and a “compromise” that “doesn’t include everything I’ve been pushing for since I got to office.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., announced Wednesday that he came to an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the reconciliation bill, after more that a year of negotiations among Democrats.
Manchin shut down negotiations on the package. But Manchin on Wednesday said they came to a deal for a vastly pared-down version of the original Build Back Better bill that includes tax, climate and prescription drug provisions.
Biden, during remarks from the White House Thursday, said he offered his support for Manchin and Schumer’s “historic agreement to fight inflation and lower costs for American families.”
“It’s called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Some of you will see a lot of similarities between the beginning to Build Back Better this year, not all of it,” Biden said. “Simply put, the bill will lower health care costs for millions of Americans and it will be and it will be the most important investment, not hyperbole, the most important investment we’ve ever made in our energy security.”
Biden said the bill will “reduce inflationary pressure on the economy” and will “restore fairness to the tax code” by making the largest corporations “pay their fair share.”
Biden also stressed the bill would not impose any new taxes on people making less than $400,000 per year.
Biden said the bill gives Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices; locks in place lower healthcare premiums for families for the next three years; and also addresses the climate crisis.
“This investment in environmental justice is real,” Biden said. “It also provides tax credits that will create thousands of good paying jobs, manufacturing jobs and clean energy construction projects, solar projects, wind projects, clean hydrogen projects, carbon capture projects, and more.”
He added: “This bill would be the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis and improve our energy security right away.”
Biden acknowledged that the Manchin deal “doesn’t include everything that I’ve been pushing for since I got to office.”
“Look, this bill is far from perfect,” Biden said. “It’s a compromise, but my message to Congress is this: This is the strongest bill you can pass to lower inflation, cut the deficit, reduce health care costs, tackle the climate crisis, and promote energy security.”
Democrats are using a process called budget reconciliation to advance the legislation, which allows them to get around the Senate filibuster with just 50 votes. As long as all Democrats avoid catching COVID-19 and are present and able to vote for the bill, they likely have the votes to get the legislation across the finish line.
“For too long, the reconciliation debate in Washington has been defined by how it can help advance Democrats’ political agenda called Build Back Better,” Manchin said in a statement Wednesday night. “Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together.”
“I now propose and will vote for the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. 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,” Manchin said.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Haris Alic, Jason Donner and Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.