A key US senator, Sinema, agreed to a $430 billion drug and vitality invoice

US Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema said Thursday she agreed to “move forward” on the $430 billion over Republican objections.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier Thursday that the chamber would meet on Saturday to vote on the continuation motion and then begin debate on the bill.

The bill, known as the Inflation Relief Act, introduced last week by Schumer and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is a top priority for Democrats and President Joe Biden ahead of the November election battle for control of the US Congress.

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The act will help people save money on prescription drugs and health premiums, Biden said in a statement Thursday.

“It will make our tax system fairer because corporations will pay a minimum tax,” he said.

With the 100-seat Senate split 50-50, Democrats plan to pass the bill without Republican support through a parliamentary process known as reconciliation.

But they cannot afford to lose the support of one lawmaker. The Sinema deal was a major turning point. Another concern is COVID-19 — senators can only vote in person, so Schumer will need his caucus full and healthy to pass the measure if Republicans remain united in opposition.

Sinema said she reached an agreement with other Democrats to repeal a provision that would have imposed new taxes on carried interest. Without the provision, private equity and hedge fund financiers can continue to pay a lower capital gains tax rate on most of their income, rather than the higher income tax rate paid by salaried individuals.

She warned that her consent to “move forward” would have to be reviewed by a Senate MP. A lawmaker must approve the content of the bill before it can go through the “reconciliation” process, which Democrats plan to use to bypass normal House rules that require 60 senators to agree to pass a majority of legislation.

Schumer said in a statement that he now believes he has the votes to pass the bill.

“The deal preserves key components of the Inflation Reduction Act, including reducing prescription drug costs, fighting climate change, closing tax loopholes used by large corporations and the wealthy, and reducing the deficit by $300 billion.”

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Scott Malone, additional reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Edited by Daniel Wallis, Shri Navaratnam and Tom Hogue

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