Following news that Senators Schumer and Manchin have reached an agreement on yet a further revised reconciliation package, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes historic investments in energy and climate change programs as well as much needed economic relief for Americans, Mark Zuckerman, president of The Century Foundation, made the following statement:
“After months of negotiations on a comprehensive reconciliation package, reports of an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Manchin, and the White House on yet another revised domestic spending package are a welcome development. As presented, the new agreement would not only bring down the price of prescription drugs—a huge achievement on its own—and extend critical health insurance subsidies for two years for low-income Americans, but it would now also reduce the budget deficit, invest in a more sustainable energy future with the most significant climate investment from Congress in history, and raise taxes on corporations that should rightfully pay their fair share. These are all much-needed investments that will change lives, both today and in the future.
“But make no mistake—this agreement is missing other investments that Americans desperately need, those that would make child care affordable and available, reduce maternal mortality, further expand affordable health insurance, and continue the life-changing expanded child tax credit, among others. These essential changes must remain a priority for this Congress and this administration. They are priorities for the American people.
“But despite key missing pieces, the agreement announced tonight is significant, and it deserves the support of the Senate—and the House. I know from my own experience in Congress and the White House that giving Medicare the authority to negotiate prescription drug prices has been a priority for many years, one that was somehow always out of reach, but could now be achieved. If this agreement becomes a reality, seniors in particular will be able to count on seeing their prescription drug bills lowered when they need life saving medicines the most. Though this agreement is not perfect, the Senate should move swiftly to pass this important legislation, while also remaining focused on key priorities that have so far been left out.”