Sinema also demanded changes to the provision creating a 15% minimum tax on corporations to “protect advanced manufacturing,” though details aren’t clear. Some of the revenue losses from Sinema’s demands will be made up for through a 1% tax on corporate stock buybacks. That tax seems like a great idea, but in a reasonable world, Democrats would be able to do that and close the carried interest loophole.
As a senator from a drought-stricken state, Sinema also called for the addition of billions of dollars to combat drought, which is something that fits in a climate bill.
In the end, it’s not as terrible as we might have feared from Sinema. It seems that, like Manchin, she ultimately decided Democrats do need to get something done with their razor-thin Senate majority. But watching someone who not all that many years ago portrayed herself as a "Prada socialist" shoot her shot by protecting private equity and hedge fund partners from paying the income tax rate on their income is nauseating. Just as it was nauseating watching a man making $500,000 a year from extra-dirty coal get to set the terms of a climate change bill.
Speaking of nauseating, the unelected Senate parliamentarian still hasn’t been heard from, and could force further changes to the bill in line with her practice of letting Republicans do what they want while imposing much stricter limits on Democratic priorities.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning an initial vote on Saturday. “Vote-a-rama,” in which Republicans introduce a series of amendments intended to force Democrats into tough votes, could take up a significant chunk of the weekend, with amendments moving fairly quickly, but forcing senators to remain on the floor to vote. Schumer is delaying the start of the Senate’s extended August recess to get this done, which is excellent (and hopefully the thought of recess will give some Republicans second thoughts about how long vote-a-rama lasts).
Although really Schumer should delay recess a little longer to force a vote on the Respect for Marriage Act.
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