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US Democrat Manchin says he reached deal with Schumer over drugs and energy bill

U.S. President Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) attends a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

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WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said on Wednesday he had reached an agreement with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on a bill that would reduce the national debt, invest in energy technology and reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Manchin’s decision, which has often stood in the way of President Joe Biden’s political goals, expands on his earlier statement that he could support a bill addressing prescription drug costs, but would need more time to see if he could support one that included taxation. and climate provisions, citing concerns about inflation.

The new agreement also includes measures that would adjust the country’s tax structure and reduce the cost of health insurance.

“I have worked diligently to get input from all sides on the legislation my fellow Democrats have proposed and listened to the views of my Republican friends to find a way forward that removes inflationary policies so Congress can respond to the suffering of Americans because of high prices,” Manchin said.

Passing the bill would be important to Biden’s legislative agenda, even if it’s a significantly slimmed down version of the sweeping changes the president called for early in his term.

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Reporting by Eric Beech and Makini Brice, writing by Katharine Jackson; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot

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