Biden throws support behind Manchin-Schumer agreement

President Biden on Wednesday embraced a deal between Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to revive key pieces of his agenda, including provisions on health care, prescription drugs and climate change.

“This afternoon, I spoke with Senators Schumer and Manchin and offered my support for the agreement they have reached on a bill to fight inflation and lower costs for American families,” Biden said in a statement.  

Schumer and Manchin earlier Wednesday said they had agreed to a $670 billion deal on Democratic priorities — weeks after Manchin seemingly had scuttled any chance of an agreement with hesitancy over inflation.

Biden touted that the agreed upon bill, details of which were still being finalized, would help lower health insurance costs for millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act, would lower the cost of prescription drugs and would provide tax credits to promote clean energy.

The bill would also adjust the tax code to close loopholes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. 

“This is the action the American people have been waiting for. This addresses the problems of today – high health care costs and overall inflation – as well as investments in our energy security for the future,” Biden said in a statement.

“If enacted, this legislation will be historic, and I urge the Senate to move on this bill as soon as possible, and for the House to follow as well,” the president added.

The Senate agreement seemed to catch even some Democrats by surprise given it came so quickly after Manchin had seemingly torpedoed hopes of a large-scale reconciliation package to pass major party priorities.

It will require the support of all 50 Democrats in the Senate to pass, as well as a simple majority in the House, where Democrats hold a narrow majority.

If the bill gets over the finish line, it would mark another legislative win for Biden, who has been racking up incremental victories despite his low approval ratings. Congress has in recent months passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill, a bipartisan gun safety bill, and the Senate on Wednesday passed a bill intended to improve competitiveness with China and manufacture semiconductors.