Sen. Joe Manchin touted his agreement with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a reconciliation package as legislation that can halt inflation and help climate change, but it may not be enough to help Democrats facing historic headwinds just over three months before the midterm elections, according to Hillary Clinton’s former chief strategist.
“I think it’s not a sure thing yet,” Mark Penn, former chief strategist for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, told Fox News Digital. “I don’t think it will affect the midterms one way or the other — midterms being driven by inflation not congressional action.”
Voters view inflation and the economy as the crucial election issues, multiple polls have shown, trumping gun violence and crime, abortion and immigration, and a June Fox News poll shows most Americans trust the GOP to handle inflation more than Democrats.
Manchin announced he had reached an agreement with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Wednesday evening on an economic bill that, if passed, would both move the Build Back Better agenda forward and also “address record inflation by paying down our national debt, lowering energy costs and lowering healthcare costs.”
Democrats running in tight races have pushed the Biden administration to take more steps to fight inflation, and the president urged Congress earlier this month to move quickly on an economic bill before the August recess — a critical time for members of Congress to campaign during election years.
“Families all over the nation will sleep easier if Congress takes this action. The Senate should move forward, pass it before the August recess, and get it to my desk so I can sign it,” Biden said in a White House statement released July 15.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes $433 billion in new spending, paid for through several tax proposals including a 15% corporate minimum tax, drug pricing reform, greater IRS enforcement, and closing the carried interest loophole, according to a summary of the bill from Schumer’s office.
The spending includes measures to increase domestic energy production and reduce carbon emissions, with a promise of reducing carbon pollution by 40% by 2030.
Manchin also urged colleagues “to put away the partisan swords and advance legislation that is in the best interests of the future of this nation and the American people we all represent – not just one party.”
“The question for my colleagues is whether they are willing to put their election politics aside and embrace the commonsense approach that the overwhelming majority of the American people support and will best serve the future of this nation,” Manchin added.