Politics: High-level Democratic talks with Manchin were so secretive that even Chuck Schumer’s No. 2 deputy said he was surprised by the deal

Manchin, Schumer announce slimmed-down deal on climate, taxes, health

  Manchin, Schumer announce slimmed-down deal on climate, taxes, health Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday said they had struck a climate, health and tax package deal — weeks after Manchin seemingly had scuttled any chance of an agreement because of his worries over inflation. The new package is a fraction of the more than $3 trillion…The new package is a fraction of the more than $3 trillion deal once envisioned by liberal Democrats, but it still could give the party a big win ahead of midterm elections where House and Senate majorities are on the line.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Senate Democrats struck a $700 billion deal for an economic and climate package.
  • Joe Manchin announced that he and Chuck Schumer had agreed on terms after months of negotiations.
  • The negotiations were so secret that even Schumer's deputy was surprised by the news.

Details around the economic deal agreed upon by Senate Democrats were kept under such a tight seal that even high-level Democrats involved at different points of the negotiations were anxious to find out details of the agreement.

On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had reached a deal on The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a funding package that could dole out $700 billion to climate, tax, and health care improvements.

Some in the Senate close to the negotiators were shocked that a deal was struck during an arduous, at times seemingly deadened negotiation process with a mostly immovable Manchin.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, who is Schumer's deputy, told Punchbowl News that the deal was "news to me."

"I'm anxious to know the details," Durbin said.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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McConnell caught flat-footed with surprise Schumer-Manchin deal .
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to have been caught flat-footed by a deal between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a reconciliation bill dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The bill, a scaled-back alternative to Build Back Better, a sweeping social spending and green energy bill that Manchin killed last year when he objected to its price tag and raised his concerns over inflation, was announced just hours after the Senate passed a bipartisan CHIPS Act on Wednesday, which McConnell previously threatened to tank if Democrats pursued a reconciliation bill.

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