Sinema Throws Support Behind Massive Dem Spending Plan

Despite solid Republican resistance and apparent hesitation within their own ranks, Democrats are poised to pass a massive $430 billion prescription drug, energy, and tax bill.

This door opened when centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) announced that she agreed to sign on to the measure. She said Thursday evening that the deal “protects advanced manufacturing and boosts our clean energy economy.”

Her agreement essentially guarantees passage of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which some analysis shows does anything but. All 50 Democrats had to sign on and count on the tie-breaker vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.

It is in effect a bill focused on climate issues and raising tax revenue, despite what its supporters insist are price-lowering components.

Sinema’s approval came when she reached an agreement with Senate Democrats to ax one provision. The original language would have ended the so-called “carried interest” loophole, forcing private equity and hedge fund managers to pay taxes on the funds at a higher level.

Sinema gained personal objectives by agreeing to the bill. Among them is an increase in drought resistance funds and a 1% excise tax when companies exercise stock buybacks. Analysts say this will increase government revenue by about $74 billion.

Or what some call a tax increase.

The deal looked done last week when Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer emerged from weeks of secret talks with moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

However, that signal proved premature when Sinema publicly hesitated to sign on.

President Joe Biden issued a statement saying, “we’ve taken another critical step toward reducing inflation and the cost of living.” The beleaguered president said the bill addresses prescription drugs, premiums for health care, and other expenses faced by consumers.

Schumer also lauded the effort when he said the agreement brings the Senate “one step closer to enacting this historic legislation into law.”

Historic may be an understatement if the Senate does not get a handle on writing checks that the economy cannot cash. The purpose of the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act is to trot it out in front of voters in November to claim Democrats accomplished something. Anything.