With an assist from Andrew Desiderio
The Senate has hit the road after a weekend session that ended with Senate Democrats, with the help of Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote, sending Democrats’ climate, tax and health care bill to the House.
HERE COMES THE HOUSE— The House is expected to put their summer recess on hold and reconvene Friday to clear the measure and send it to President Joe Biden for his signature.
“The House will return and move swiftly to send this bill to the President’s desk — proudly building a healthier, cleaner, fairer future for all Americans,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Sunday.
No SALT, no problem: The “no SALT, no deal” Democrats in the House, who have pushed for a repeal of the cap on state and local tax deductions are voicing support for the bill. Res. Josh Gottheimer (DN.J.), Mikie Sherril (DN.J.) and Tom Suozzi (DN.Y.) have all said they are on board.
HOW THE SENATE’S SAUSAGE GETS MADE— It isn’t pretty, folks. The Senate worked so many hours straight, they stopped at the 24 hour mark for a fresh prayer from chaplain Barry Black, where he called upon God: “Rouse yourself, oh lord, and help them.” Much more elegant than “Dear God, please let this be over soon,” which was the general mood at that point.
Sure, the vote-a-rama was more than 15 hours long, but that’s a speed bump compared to more than a year of hot-and-cold negotiations Senate Democrats struggled through before passing their top legislative priority for this Congress. It is significantly smaller than the $3.5 trillion behemoth that Democrats originally envisioned, but they’re celebrating the slimmed down measure as a massive win.
Raising revenue: Over the next decade, the bill is supposed to raise more than $700 billion in government revenue, with much of that coming from a 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations and funds generated by an investment in tax-collection efforts at the Internal Revenue Service to catch tax cheats. Other revenue raising provisions include a 1 percent tax on stock buybacks and allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
Health and climate: The bill includes incentives for companies to reduce carbon emissions and an extension of subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Americans had been headed for a big jump in healthcare costs in the fall that the extension averts.
Out with the Byrd bath water: The Parliamentarian focused on a portion of the bill on rebates for drug companies to pay if they raise prices faster for inflation. The rebate requirement will only apply to Medicare, but not the commercial market, as Dems had wanted. Insulin cost provisions faced a similar partial setback, with a $35 price cap set for Medicare but not for insulin purchased through private insurance.
Batman returns: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) returned to the Senate after weeks away recovering from two surgeries for a broken hip. He used an all-black wheelchair with Batman decals on the side (and yellow socks that matched).
RELATED:How the Private-Equity Lobby Won—Againfrom Julie Bykowicz in Washington and Miriam Gottfried in New York for The Wall Street Journal; Winners and Losers In Democrats’ Signature Tax and Energy Billfrom Laura Davison, Erik Wasson, and Ari Natter at Bloomberg
MORE: Manchin’s Donors Include Pipeline Giants That Win in His Climate Dealfrom Hiroko Tabuchi at The New York Times
GOOD MORNING! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all things Capitol Hill, on this Monday, August 8, where for a few days at least, it feels like recess.
MUST READ — Burgess and Marianne take us behind the curtain on how this deal really came together, closed-door talks, public pleas on the Senate floor, meetings on Manchin’s houseboat, rain-soaked negotiators and Schumer’s victory meal. They’ve got the juicy details. If you’ve read anything about the bill, it’s worth reading this: The Sinema-Manchin split that shaped Dems’ deal
- “They both are pains in the neck, but pains in the neck who I respect,” said Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) of Manchin and Sinema. “I don’t feel they’ve ever misled me, or said something that was untrue.”
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: “That is the catapult that basically launched me,” Manchin said in an interview. “Iran is the greatest supportive proliferator of terrorism in the world, right? And we’re going to give them money? Over my dead body.”
- “Sinema, if she gives you her word, you got it. But she’s not a schmoozer like Manchin,” said Schumer.
“PRO DEMOCRACY” TRAINING GROUND — “An organization founded by allies of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is launching a program to recruit “pro-freedom, pre-democracy” candidates for office, with a particular focus on election officers across the country. Keep Country First Policy Action, a nonprofit group, is kicking off its ‘Country First Academy’ on Monday, according to plans for the program shared first with POLITICO.” Zach Montellaro has the scoop.
BIDEN VS. HILL ON TAIWAN, AGAIN — Just as the White House was dealing with China’s belligerent response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) Taiwan trip last week, it was working behind the scenes to push back against a bipartisan bill to overhaul US-Taiwan relations. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was supposed to vote Wednesday on a popular bill that would authorize $4.5 billion in security assistance and deepen US-Taiwan ties. Sen. Bob Menendez (DN.J.), the panel’s chairman, said the vote was punted to September because he and other committee members were busy on the floor that afternoon. But the White House was already suggesting changes to the bill, and Menendez vowed that it’ll get a vote when they come back from the recess. It was yet another example of the White House trying to cage congressional hawkishness on Taiwan. Andrew has more.
LANGEVIN’S LEGACY— As Rep. Jim Langevin (DR.I.) looks toward retirement, he’s looking to defend not just a trailblazing legacy on disability rights, as the first quadriplegic elected to Congress. He’s working to make sure his successor is, in fact, a Democrat.
Langevin has hand-picked the lawmakers to lead the Bipartisan Disability Caucus, which he founded. And unlike the rest of his Ocean State colleagues, he’s endorsed a candidate in the crowded Democratic primary in Rhode Island. He doesn’t just want to protect the work he’s done, but make sure there is continued leadership on disability policy on Capitol Hill.
In the smallest state in the nation, politics can have a small town quality. The leading Republican candidate, popular mayor Alan Fung who enjoys wide name recognition from two gubernatorial bids, went to college with Langevin. He was the mayor of Sen. Jack Reed’s (DR.I.) hometown of Cranston for 12 years. “He used to work for me!” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.) exclaimed, recalling his time as the state’s attorney general when Fung was a state prosecutor.
“He’s a candidate that everybody should take seriously,” Whitehouse told POLITICO last week.
Langevin told your Huddle host he considers Fung a friend but also “the wrong person for the district.” More, from me: Inside the race to replace Congress’ first quadriplegic — and its effect on disability rights
LONG COVID SHORT ON ATTENTION IN CONGRESS— Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) went public with his long-Covid experience, in part, to get his colleagues to take the problem more seriously.
“But after months of efforts, Kaine’s experience sounds a lot like his constituents’: a frustrating and so far fruitless exercise. While he and other Democrats in the House and Senate are pushing for action, they have failed to gain meaningful momentum due to lack of GOP support and a congressional leadership bogged down in battles around spending, inflation, foreign policy and reproductive rights.
And as action on Capitol Hill stalls, the problem grows,” Alice Miranda Olstein.
WALORSKI FUNERAL — Services for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who was killed in a car wreck on Aug. 3, will be this Thursday in Granger, Ind.
Your Huddle Host would like to associate herself with these specific remarks from the Senate floor on Sunday:
“The clerks, the doorkeepers, the reporters, thank you. Thank you to the pages who worked overtime to help us….you’ll tell your grandchildren you were here. Thank you to the cafeteria workers, custodial staff and Capitol Police. The Senate cannot function without you all,” Schumer said, following final passage of the bill.
The Senate, of course, inflicts this painful process upon itself. But the nonpartisan workers that keep the place running make it possible.
Post Roe, some in GOP wage uphill battle to offer families more supportfrom by Jeff Stein and Leigh Ann Caldwell at The Washington Post
Liz Cheney Is Ready to Lose. But She’s Not Ready to Quitfrom Jonathan Martin at The New York Times
Latino Voters Helped Power The First Latina to the Senate. But Will They Send Her Back?from Ursula Perano at The Daily Beast
Tanner Bielefeld Pruitt is now deputy scheduler/executive assistant for Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). He most recently was a legislative intern for Sen. Maggie Hassan (DN.H.)
Jessica Herron is now staff assistant for Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). She most recently was a graduate associate, internship coordinator and government relations assistant for IDEMIA North America.
TODAY IN CONGRESS
The House is out.
The Senate is out.
AROUND THE HILL
All quiet after a wild weekend.
FRIDAY’S WINNER:Zack Marshall correctly answered that Ronald Reagan’s inauguration happened on Super Bowl Sunday in 1985.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Who were the first (and only) father and son to serve in the Senate simultaneously?
The first person to correctly guess gets a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Send your answers to [email protected]
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Follow Katherine on Twitter @ktullymcmanus