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Mitch McConnell says Manchin cut a spending deal that ‘only Bernie Sanders would love’

  • McConnell eviscerated Manchin’s deal with Schumer on Tuesday.
  • “This is an agreement that only Bernie Sanders would love,” McConnell said.
  • Republican attacks on the Manchin bill are intensifying as Democrats seek to win over Sinema.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t holding back his thoughts about Sen. Joe Manchin’s surprise deal that unlocked a path forward for the Democratic agenda.

“He made a terrible deal,” McConnell said at his weekly press conference. “How he can defend this from a West Virginia point of view or think of it as a centrist kind of agreement — it’s astonishing.”

“This is an agreement that only Bernie Sanders would love,” McConnell said.

Republicans are staunchly against the $740 billion package that Manchin negotiated in secret with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. They argue it amounts to a sizable tax increase on most Americans that will slow down the economy.

Democrats counter that large, profitable companies are bearing the brunt of the tax hikes.

The bill — titled the “Inflation Reduction Act” — would empower Medicare to negotiate prescription drugs, extend financial assistance for people to buy Obamacare health insurance, and finance a variety of climate and energy programs to transition the US away from fossil fuels. It would be funded by a mix of taxes on large corporations and wealthy investors, as well as ramping up the IRS’ ability to go after tax cheats.

Senate Democrats can’t barrel past united GOP opposition without all 50 Democratic senators onboard to approve the spending bill through budget reconciliation. While Manchin strongly supports the bill, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona hasn’t tipped her hand in either direction.

Her office says she is waiting for additional counsel from the Senate parliamentarian, the main arbiter of the reconciliation process.

Manchin responded to intensifying Republican attacks on the legislation. “They’re still my friends, I love them all,” he said on Tuesday.

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