Five former Treasury secretaries back Manchin’s inflation plan
- Five former treasury secretaries backed Manchin’s inflation-fighting bill in a statement released Wednesday.
- The group includes secretaries from the George W. Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.
- The secretaries urged Congress to pass the plan “immediately”, adding that it would help calm inflation.
Senator Joe Manchin has just won valuable new support for his plan to fight inflation.
A group of five former Treasury secretaries threw their support behind the Cut Inflation Act in a Wednesday statement. The proposal, brokered by Manchin and Senate Majority Chuck Schumer last week, offers a way forward for some of President Joe Biden’s economic agendas. Signatories include secretaries from both Democratic and Republican administrations, giving the plan a bipartisan endorsement it is unlikely to win in Congress.
Former Treasury secretaries supporting the proposal are:
- Larry Summers, who served under President Bill Clinton
- Robert Rubin, who served under President Bill Clinton
- Hank Paulson, who served under President George W. Bush
- Tim Geithner, who served under President Barack Obama
- Jacob Lew, who served under President Barack Obama
“This legislation will help increase American competitiveness, solve our climate crisis, reduce costs for families and fight inflation – and should be passed by Congress immediately,” the group said.
The statement comes as Democrats scramble to muster the support needed to push the bill through the Senate. Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is the biggest unknown in the party ranks, and her position can either guarantee passage of the bill or defeat it entirely. Sinema has yet to weigh in on the measure, and the plan’s proposal to close the interest-bearing loophole could sway him against the bill. The Arizona senator has opposed closing the loophole in the past.
This caused a wild race among Democrats and Republicans to win over Sinema. Republicans pointed to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation that suggest the proposed 15% minimum corporate tax for large, profitable companies will trickle down to most Americans. Democrats, meanwhile, argue that the projections don’t tell the whole story and that other aspects of the IRA would provide most Americans with a net financial benefit.
Other estimates tout the proposal as a boon to the US economy. The plan, if approved, “will push the economy and inflation in the right direction,” Moody’s Analytics said in a Monday note. Company analysts expect the plan to slightly slow price growth and boost economic output over the next decade. Not approving the IRA, however, could make the inflation problem worse by letting ACA credits expire and burdening millions of Americans with higher healthcare costs.
If the Treasury Secretaries’ statement is to change the minds of senators, he has little time to do so. The Senate is expected to vote on the plan later this week, and Manchin said he would personally introduce the IRA to Sinema in hopes of convincing her and sending the plan to Biden’s office. But with the Senate heading for an August recess, the Arizona senator will have considerably less time to consider the plan than Manchin.