A lot happened in Washington this week. Schumer and Manchin are political geniuses, or it's just a coincidence. It's hard to tell. The three pieces of significant legislation that will be enacted will impact Americans well after the 2022 midterms or even the 2024 presidential election, for that matter.
CHIPS and Science Act
The CHIPS and Science Act is on its way to President Biden's desk awaiting his signature. Maria Cantwell noted that chip shortages caused a loss of $240 billion to the U.S. economy over the last year and that the country makes roughly 12% of the world's supply of chips, which are essential to the production of vehicles and wide-ranging electronics. Cantwell said the manufacturing ecosystem is lost when the percentage gets too low. (1) The Bill includes more than $76 billion to revive chip production in the U.S. (1). This massive jobs bill brings manufacturing to the U.S. Imagine a semiconductor chip plant right in Ohio or Wisconsin. Ron Johnson, up for re-election against the Lt. Governor, voted against it. Make that clear Ron Johnson voted against bringing jobs back to Wisconsin.
$81 billion for the National Science Foundation over five years for research, equipment, and STEM education. Nearly $10 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. (1)This is one of the most significant long-term thinking bills we've passed in a very long time," said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer following the vote. "Our grandchildren will hold good paying jobs in industries we can't imagine because of what we are doing now," Schumer said.
The PACT ACT.
According to conservative never-Trumper Charlie Sykes. 42 Republican Senators, including Ron Johnson, took a vote they will regret. The PACT ACT gives expanded healthcare benefits to veterans affected by Toxic Burn Pits. In combat, they don't have a garbage truck that comes and takes all their supplies that are trash. They dig a hole and burn it. Veterans who unfortunately inhale these toxic fumes have been diagnosed with cancer and other lung and health issues. They needed 60 votes to pass it and, unfortunately, only got 55.
Chuck Schumer said he would bring The Pact Act up again this Monday. Giving Republicans one more chance to honor our commitment to care for our Veterans. Suppose they block it a second time. I can't imagine what the repercussions might be. I can already see the attack ads from groups like The Lincoln Project in my head right now.
The Schumer-Manchin Bill
Because it is a reconciliation bill, all that is needed is a simple majority to pass. Can we get to a simple majority with a 50-50 senate? It is hard to say. But I can tell you it will be a BFD if it does.
The bill imposes a 15% minimum corporate levy on companies that have traditionally been able to pay little-to-no taxes because they were eligible for a long list of credits and deductions. This measure is known as the book-tax because it is applied to a company's book, or financial statement, earnings -- rather than the income calculation traditionally used for tax purposes. The regular, 21% corporate rate is left untouched(1)The Internal Revenue Service would get $80 billion to add auditors, improve customer service and modernize technology. Democrats hope to pull in $124 billion in tax revenue from cracking down on tax cheats and increasing compliance by rebuilding the IRS. (1)
The plan would end the carried-interest tax break used by private equity and hedge fund managers to lower their tax bills. That allowed for a share of an investment manager's income to be classified as a capital gain, which is taxed at 23.8% instead of the top 37% rate for salary and wage earnings. (1)
The bill includes $4,000 tax credits for lower and middle-income buyers to use to purchase used electric vehicles and up to $7,500 tax credits for new cars. (1)
The plan has $60 billion of incentives to bring clean energy manufacturing into the U.S. These include production tax credits to accelerate U.S. manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and critical minerals processing. The plan also provides investment tax credits to build clean technology manufacturing plants that make EVs, turbines, and other products. (1)
There would be tax credits for consumers who add renewable energy items to their homes under the legislation, including efficient heat pumps, rooftop solar, electric HVAC, and water heaters. The plan also includes $9 billion for home energy rebate programs for low-income consumers to make their homes more energy efficient and $1 billion in grants for affordable housing energy upgrades.
The bill would direct the government to negotiate with drugmakers for lower prices on certain medicines and cap what seniors on Medicare pay for drugs each year at $2,000. The measure also requires pharmaceutical companies to rebate Medicare if they raise the prices of their drugs more than account for inflation. (1)
The plan would also extend to 2025 an expansion in Affordable Care Act premium subsidies currently set to end at year-end. According to a summary of the deal, this will lower prices for millions of Americans. (1)
It's not the Green New Deal or Builds Back Better. It's not even close to what progressives want. Some may even say that Manchin is some Republican in disguise. Republicans tolerate him because he stalls a lot of the democratic agenda. But this judas-like betrayal (according to Republicans) will most likely cost Joe Manchin his seat in 2024. West Virginia is not a blue state, and if Manchin goes. We will get another wing-nut that won't even come close to what Manchin is proposing.
Just imagine if we can get all this done before the midterms. We can run on something. Charlie Sykes is wondering why we are ramming this down their throat. Especially with the circus that happened last Thursday. CHIPS will bring back blue collar-good paying jobs. Chips and Solar Panels that are built in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. We are competing with China. The reconciliation package will be the most significant thing since Obamacare that Democrats have done. These bold, innovative ideas are how we can work with Joe Manchin. Republicans have proved that they can't even give expanded healthcare to veterans.