That leaves Democrats in a position of accepting a much smaller package shorn of nearly all of their long-term ambitions from a year ago, or getting nothing.
Just days ago, Manchin and Schumer were negotiating over hundreds of billions in spending on measures designed to fight climate change, including tax breaks for renewable energy, electric vehicles and other clean power sources. The loss of those plans will be a bitter pill for many Democrats on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Solar stocks fell in early US trading.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat my disappointment here,” Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon, who previously talked with Manchin about a package of clean energy incentives, said in a statement. “This is our last chance to prevent the most catastrophic — and costly — effects of climate change.”
Other Democrats, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, demanded Biden take executive action to address climate.
On the price of prescription drugs, which has long been an issue both parties have attempted to address, Democrats have previously prepared a measure that would empower Medicare to negotiate for the price of certain high-cost drugs, limit beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs to $2,000 a year and extend premium and copayment assistance to some lower-income seniors.
The lower drug costs would save the government money, potentially funding the ACA health-insurance subsidies.
A number of Senate Democrats have said it’s critical to get a bill this month that would lower inflation, with prescription drug prices both a politically popular item and one on which they are unified.
Progress had slowed, including on the climate portion and a plan to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations, before a self-imposed deadline set Schumer to vote on the measure before the August recess.
Earlier: Biden Calls Inflation Numbers ‘Out of Date.’ Americans Disagree
Manchin’s refusal was reported earlier by the Washington Post. The move comes seven months after Manchin killed Biden’s plans for a grand economic bill totaling some $2 trillion and including many progressive priorities.