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Senate to vote on reconciliation bill this week

The Senate will hold a vote on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, also known as the fiscal year 2022 budget reconciliation legislation, this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Friday.

Schumer did not say when the Senate would vote. The Senate is scheduled to go into session today at 3 p.m. The official Senate calendar says the Senate will be in a state work period from Aug. 8 to Sept. 5.

In a news release Schumer noted that he had reached agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., on the legislation.



The Democrats need every Democratic senator to vote for the bill because no Republican is expected to support it. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who has been sidelined by a fall and surgery, is expected to return to the Senate this week.

The only Democratic senator whose vote is in question is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has not taken a position on the bill.



On Sunday, Manchin, who is recovering from COVID-19, appeared on all the major talk shows. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manchin called Sinema “my dear friend.”

He added, “We work very close together on so many things. And she has so much in this piece of legislation. She’s formed quite a bit of it and worked on it very hard.”

“And, with that, she’s brought down drug prices. She’s been very instrumental in letting Medicare go ahead and negotiate for lower drug prices, save $288 billion, brings the price down of drugs. And it’s going to be a tremendous help to people across America.

“And I agree with her 100% we’re not going to raise taxes, and we don’t. And, on that, I think that, basically, when she looks at the bill and sees the whole spectrum of what we’re doing and all of the energy we’re bringing in all of the reduction of prices and fighting inflation by bringing prices down, by having more energy, hopefully, she will be positive about it. But she will make her decision. And I respect that.”

Asked by Jake Tapper, the host of the “State of the Union,” if he is confident Sinema is on board with his bill, Schumer said, “Well, we speak — I speak with everybody, as you know, and we have always been very friendly. And we speak a lot. And you see us on the floor and everything.”

“Jake, the reason people weren’t brought into this, I didn’t think it would come to fruition. I didn’’t want to disappoint people again.”

Manchin explained, “For eight months, we worked on it. I couldn’t get there with Build Back Better. It was $3.5 trillion of spending. And this is taking $3.5 trillion dollars of spending down to $400 billion of investment that’s definitely going to make a difference in America and everybody’s pocketbook.”

“And that’s fighting inflation. That’s what we’re doing. So, with that, I didn’t want to build anyone — anticipation up. And then they come down and up and down, like a yo-yo with the — with all the drama that goes into this.

“So, I just basically hunkered down with my staff. We have been doing this for — since April and May diligently. And then we thought it fell apart a couple of weeks ago. We came back, to Chuck’s credit. Let’s start talking some more … We did to see if we could scale this thing to where we could basically put it in a position we have it today, which I think is great, a great opportunity.

“It’s not a Democrat bill. It’s not a Republican bill,” Manchin said. “It’s definitely not a green bill. This is a red, white and blue bill. And it’s great for America.”

Agriculture is only a small portion of the massive legislation. But Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has noted that the bill includes “nearly $40 billion to tackle the climate crisis, lower costs, and create good paying jobs by investing in agriculture, forestry, and rural communities.”

Stabenow released a list of the agriculture provisions in the bill, to see it go to https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ag_reconciliation_one-pager.pdf.

In his news release, Schumer said, “After years of many in Washington promising, but failing to deliver, with the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, this Senate Democratic majority will take action to finally take on Big Pharma and lower prescription drug prices, tackle the climate crisis with urgency and vigor, ensure the wealthiest corporations and individuals pay their fair share in taxes, and reduce the deficit,” Schumer said.

“By a wide margin, this legislation will be the greatest pro-climate legislation that has ever been passed by Congress. This legislation fights the climate crisis with the urgency the situation demands and puts the U.S. on a path to roughly 40% emissions reductions by 2030, all while creating new good-paying jobs in the near and long-term.

“I expect that the remaining work with the parliamentarian will be completed in the coming days and the Senate will vote on this transformative legislation next week,” Schumer said.

“I thank Sen. Manchin for his willingness to engage and his commitment to reaching an agreement that can earn the support of all 50 Senate Democrats.”

Ag & Politics

Vilsack to travel to Colorado Tuesday, Wednesday

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday for events with Democratic Sens. Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Gov. Jared Polis, also a Democrat.



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