Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Tuesday appealed to fellow centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to get on board with Democrats’ reconciliation bill on climate investment, drug pricing and taxes (aka the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022).
During an interview on local West Virginia radio program “Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval,” Manchin emphasized how Sinema had already approved the proposals in the legislation, including the proposed 15 percent minimum corporate tax on companies of $1 billion or larger. (Indeed, that provision of the bill seemed crafted specifically to win her support.)
“This is everything Kyrsten agreed to in December,” the West Virginia Democrat said. “She signed off on the bill back in December.”
Additionally, “She’s the one that kept saying we want no new taxes, so I agree, no new taxes,” Manchin said.
The senator said he plans to meet with Sinema Tuesday afternoon to see if “there’s something different in here she doesn’t like that she liked before.”
“I don’t know what it would be ‘cause there’s nothing left in there,” he added.
The West Virginia senator has been publicly working to win over Sinema, who could make or break the legislation’s passage with Democrats’ razor-thin Senate majority: they don’t have a single vote to spare to meet the 50-vote threshold needed for reconciliation.
As such, Democrats have been biting their nails over Sinema’s impending decision ever since Manchin unveiled his deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) last week.
Manchin’s public entreaties to Sinema present a remarkable shift in the two senators’ aligned resistance to passing key platforms of their fellow Democrats’ agenda. Whereas Democrats have had to chase after both Manchin and Sinema (particularly in the case of the doomed Build Back Better bill), now the West Virginia senator finds himself pursuing Sinema as well.
All the while, Sinema has kept mum on the Schumer-Manchin deal, with her spokesperson saying only that the Arizona senator was “reviewing” and awaiting the Senate parliamentarian’s assessment of the bill.