Progressive Democrat: Manchin-Schumer inflation-fighting deal a ‘very, very major step forward’

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, lauded a deal reached between Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-N.Y.) on climate, taxes and health, saying it is a “very, very major step forward.”

“If we can get it done, and I believe we can, I believe that there’s a real deal here,” Jayapal said on CNN’s “New Day” early Thursday.

“Every single one of the things that’s in this bill is actually a major accomplishment, will help Americans bring costs down, will ensure that we’re protecting the planet for our next generation. And we’ll make sure that people’s health care is covered instead of being cut off in the next, you know, 30 days, essentially when those subsidies expire from the American Rescue Plan,” she added. 

Jayapal’s remarks came hours after Schumer and Manchin made a surprise announcement on Wednesday that they had reached a deal.

Just weeks before, the West Virginia senator had appeared to pour cold water on hopes of passing legislation on tax reform and climate provisions amid concern over a report showing annual inflation had reached more than 9 percent.

“After many months of negotiations, we have finalized legislative text that will invest approximately $300 billion in deficit reduction and $369.75 billion in energy security and climate change programs over the next ten years,” Manchin and Schumer said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“The investments will be fully paid for by closing tax loopholes on wealthy individuals and corporations.”

By 2030, the agreement would be expected to curb emissions by around 40 percent, according to the senators. 

“New Day” co-anchor Brianna Keilar noted Jayapal’s previous criticism of Manchin, in which the progressive lawmaker insinuated that he was not a true member of the Democratic Party, and asked her if getting the package passed would make him a true member of the party. 

“Well, look, I worked with Joe Manchin many times over the last year. I still think that had we done this back in December, had we done the entirety of the president’s agenda, we would be in better shape,” Jayapal answered. 

“But am I happy that Joe Manchin is at the table right now? Absolutely. Welcome in, Joe Manchin. Delighted to work with you to get this done.”