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Sinema backs Inflation Reduction Act, clearing hurdle to $369B energy, climate package

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the lone Democratic holdout on the Inflation Reduction Act, on Thursday agreed to support the bill, which includes about $369 billion in energy and climate spending.

Senate Democrats aim to pass the bill through the budget reconciliation process, which requires a majority vote and cannot be blocked by a filibuster. Republicans appear to be entirely opposed to the bill, so every Democrat in the evenly divided Senate must vote for it, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, if it is to pass.

Sinema is seeking some changes to the bill, including to some of its tax provisions. She also reportedly wants increased spending to combat drought in Arizona.

“We have agreed to remove the carried interest tax provision, protect advanced manufacturing, and boost our clean energy economy in the Senate’s budget reconciliation legislation,” Sinema said in a statement. “Subject to the Parliamentarian’s review, I’ll move forward.”

The Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, is reviewing the legislation to make sure its provisions are eligible to be approved through the reconciliation process.

The agreement marks a “critical step,” President Joe Biden said late Thursday in a statement. “I look forward to the Senate taking up this legislation and passing it as soon as possible.”

A final bill is set to be introduced in the Senate on Saturday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday.

“I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act that I believe will receive the support of the entire Senate Democratic conference,” Schumer said in a widely reported statement.