Joe Manchin stunned DC Wednesday by announcing that he had reversed himself and would back Democrats' sweeping spending plan after all. The surprise deal the West Virginia senator struck with Sen. Chuck Schumer has provided Democrats with their "best news" in weeks, notes Politico, because it means the party should be able to push through President Biden's agenda on climate change and health care. "Should" is the operative word there, however. Because as Axios points out, it's still unclear whether Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema—who with Manchin has bucked her party on tax issues previously—will go along. Democrats cannot afford even one defection because all Republicans oppose the plan.
"We do not have a comment, as she will need to review the text," a Sinema spokesperson says. On Thursday, Manchin confirmed to CNN that she was not part of the deal he struck with Schumer. "I have not spoken to her about this. ... I would hope that she would be receptive," he said, per a tweet from CNN's Manu Raju. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sinema did not attend a party caucus meeting on Thursday led by Schumer. One potential sticking point: Manchin agreed to close a tax loophole known as "carried interest," which concerns how investments are taxed, but Sinema has long opposed such a move, per Hot Air. In general, she has resisted any moves that would result in higher taxes.
Assuming Democrats can get Sinema on board and pass the legislation, it would represent a "massive victory" for them, per Axios. At the New York Times, David Leonhardt writes that the resulting climate legislation in particular would "probably have more lasting importance than anything else President Biden signs in his first two years in office." The Republican view on all this? The deal's 15% corporate minimum tax and increased spending are "reckless" in the current economic climate, says Sen. John Barrasso, per Reuters. And Sen. Joni Ernst called for more production of domestic oil and natural gas as a way to lower gasoline prices, rather than adding new tax incentives for electric vehicles, as Biden's climate plan does. (Read more Kyrsten Sinema stories.)