Manchin and Schumer agree to Build Back Better deal after more than a year of talks

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Sen. Joe Manchin announced Wednesday that he came to an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a reconciliation bill, after more than a year of negotiations among Democrats. 

Manchin, D-W.Va., frustrated Democrats for months, consistently refusing to support party-line legislation that at one point Democrats wanted to cost over $3 trillion. Democrats termed that legislation “Build Back Better,” and Manchin shut down negotiations on it late last year. 

But with Democrats grasping for a legislative win ahead of the midterms, Schumer, D-N.Y., kept up talks directly with Manchin through the spring and summer. In a lengthy statement, the moderate senator said Wednesday those talks resulted in a deal for a slimmed-down deal that includes tax, climate and prescription drug provisions. 

“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. “Build Back Better is dead, and instead we have the opportunity to make our country stronger by bringing Americans together.”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin spoke on the debt limit and the infrastructure bill. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 06: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks at a press conference outside his office on Capitol Hill on October 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Manchin spoke on the debt limit and the infrastructure bill. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“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. 

“President Biden, Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi have committed to advancing a suite of commonsense permitting reforms this fall,” he also said. 

Manchin and his opposition to Democrats expensive reconciliation proposals frustrated liberal Democrats for months. But at least one progressive said Wednesday she is happy with the Manchin deal.

“It makes me very hopeful that Senator Manchin is announcing a deal,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., when asked if she was confident reconciliation was actually moving forward.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates. 

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