Democrats move closer to sweeping tax, climate change and health care bill

Senate Democrats are one step closer to passing a sweeping tax, climate change, and health care bill now that Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema voiced her support. The last Democratic holdout agreed to vote for the package after party leaders altered some of its tax proposals, giving Democrats enough votes to pass the Inflation Reduction Act as midterm elections approach. Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we reported Democrat — excuse me — Democrats have reached a deal on their climate, health care and tax package, a key plank of the party's agenda heading into the midterms.

    Our Lisa Desjardins has all the latest developments.

    Hello again, Lisa.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Hi.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So what happened here? What — how did they get Senator Sinema on board? Is this a different bill?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    This is a slightly different bill.

    In large part, this is the same bill that we have been talking about, climate provisions, health care provisions, but there were some changes to taxes that Kyrsten Sinema was able to get out of this for her vote. One of them, the carried interest provision that we have been talking about on the show that she did not like, that would help hedge fund managers, it's out of the bill.

    Those hedge fund managers owe something that Kyrsten Sinema tonight. They will be seeing their taxes be smaller next year. Also, something that Kyrsten Sinema was able to get was money for drought relief, as I know and many of our viewers are aware, we talk about on the show, drought in the Western part of the country has been severe. That includes the Grand Canyon State.

    So, billions, I'm told, Kyrsten Sinema was able to get for that provision. And she got on board late last night. And now we do believe there are 50 votes for this bill, though we still have not seen the full text.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, given that it is not a done deal yet, what has to happen now?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    There's a lot to talk about.

    Many, many of my sources and many of the staffers and senators in the U.S. Senate right now anxiously awaiting word on — from the Senate parliamentarian.

    So let's break down where we are right now. This weekend will be critical for this bill. First of all, the votes on this bill, we expect the first one tomorrow. That's a motion to proceed, to begin debate, essentially. We don't know what time, sometime tomorrow.

    But, meanwhile, the parliamentarian has to weigh in, because this bill is going through the budget reconciliation process. In that process, in order to have this 50-vote margin, no filibusters allowed, everything in this bill must have a primary budgetary effect. The parliamentarian decides if it does or not.

    So what's happening now is that each piece of the bill is being reviewed by the parliamentarian, long meetings today. And I am told that most people involved expect her to rule tonight. Now, there are major climate and health provisions that are in question that she will decide if they remain in this bill or not, if they can pass muster.

    Judy, one of those is something that means a lot to many Americans, the price of insulin. In this bill currently is a proposal to cap insulin at $35 for a monthly supply. We don't know if that will pass muster. We're watching that tonight, but also watching that, many diabetics we have been talking to around the country.

    And we spent some time with them. And I want to take you to and introduce a story we did looking at how they see the impact potentially of this bill in their lives, what it means.

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