If you watched either the Saturday edition of Today on NBC or ABC’s Good Morning America, you would have come away with the impression that Democrats would spend the voting to improve health care and the environment and reduce inflation and the deficit while Republicans try to stop them. Neither network provided any reason why someone might chose to oppose the bill.
Janai Norman led off GMA’s segment on the bill by reporting, “the Senate is preparing to start the voting process this afternoon on a $430 billion bill tackling climate change, health care, and taxes.”
She then introduced White House correspondent MaryAlice Parks who took over the segment. Labeling the bill “historic,” Parks elaborated on the bill’s contents, “A reminder what the bill calls for, a historic investment in clean energy and climate change, a cap on prescription drug costs for seniors. It will give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices and set a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.”
After reporting that Democrats have received “some good news from the Senate parliamentarian,” Parks added, “no Republicans are planning to vote for this bill.”
Why are Republicans voting no? Parks didn’t say. Neither did Today as host Kristen Welker introduced the “massive economic plan aimed at reducing inflation.”
Welker then tossed the segment to Capitol Hill correspondent Ali Vitali who introduced her recorded report on the “health care, tax reform, and—and-- deficit reduction deal.”
In the report, Vitali simply repeated Democratic talking points, “a package of legislation that boasts hundreds of billions in deficit reduction while also investing upwards of $350 billion in energy and climate provisions, cutting prescription drug costs, and new tax reforms that force the wealthy and corporations to pay more.”
Like Parks, Vitali noted Republicans plan to vote no, but didn’t explain why. Neither mentioned that the CBO concluded that 90% of deficit savings won’t be seen until 2026 or that the Inflation Reduction Act won’t actually reduce inflation or the Joint Committee on Taxation’s report that it isn’t just the rich who will see tax increases.
CBS Saturday Mornings didn’t mention these specifics either, but they at least noted Republican claims the other tax increases would cost jobs and that the country cannot afford more spending.
Here are transcripts for the August 6 shows:
7:03 AM ET
KRISTEN WELKER: Democrats are hoping to come together in Washington today for a test vote on that massive economic plan aimed at reducing inflation. Now that Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema has signaled her willingness to agree to the deal. NBC's Ali Vitali is on Capitol Hill with what lies ahead. Ali, good morning to you.
ALI VITALI: Yeah, Peter and Kristen, good morning. The-- we’re hours just hours away now from the starting bell of Democrats trying to pass this reconciliation package. It’s a big one and it’s going to be a lengthy process as they pass this health care, tax reform, and—and-- deficit reduction deal.
This morning, Democrats marching in lockstep.
CHUCK SCHUMER: All right, well, we’re feeling good.
VITALI: Set to kickoff a rare Saturday session this afternoon in hopes of notching a big win for their party and President Joe Biden. Taking up a package of legislation that boasts hundreds of billions in deficit reduction while also investing upwards of $350 billion in energy and climate provisions, cutting prescription drug costs, and new tax reforms that force the wealthy and corporations to pay more.
At the center of it all, moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. Manchin negotiating this bill in secret with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Sinema holding her support until she saw her priorities taken into account, including the removal of a carried interest tax rate loophole and $4 billion for drought relief. Sinema announcing late Thursday “subject to the parliamentarian’s review, I'll move forward.”
Now with Sinema on board, it’s full steam ahead. Not that the road to passage is without speed bumps?
LINDSEY GRAHAM: What will a vote-a-roma be like? It will be like hell. They deserve this.
VITALI: Republicans vowing to make the process as politically painful as possible. Democrats bracing for that.
SCHUMER: Look, they’re going to do lots of amendments. We don’t know what else they will do, but I am—I am—as I said, I believe we will have 50 votes to pass this legislation at the end of the day.
VITALI: Meanwhile, the House set to come back from their recess next Friday to pass the bill and send it to President Joe Biden's desk.
And look guys, the name of the game here is speed. Democrats want to get this done as quickly as possible because they are very eager to campaign on it in the midterms. No surprise, given these provisions poll well from voters from both parties. Still, the earliest we see that this passed is Sunday, maybe, assuming there’s no surprises in this process.
ABC Good Morning America
7:04 M ET
JANAI NORMAN: Turning now to Washington where the Senate is preparing to start the voting process this afternoon on a $430 billion bill tackling climate change, health care, and taxes. ABC's White House correspondent MaryAlice Parks is at the Capitol with the latest on the piece—the key piece of President Biden's agenda. MaryAlice, good morning.
MARYALICE PARKS: Janai, good morning. Democrats are eager to get moving on their big bill, especially now that their last hold-out, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, is finally on board. So, senators are headed in planning to work all weekend like you said, they're expecting the first votes on this later this afternoon.
A reminder what the bill calls for, a historic investment in clean energy and climate change, a cap on prescription drug costs for seniors. It will give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices and set a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%.
Now, Democrats this morning are getting some good news from the Senate parliamentarian. This was an important, very wonky step the Democrats had to go through. Basically each part of the bill gets judged on whether it impacts the government's revenue or spending enough that it can count as budget related.
That's the key for Democrats, because budget items can be passed with just a simple majority, just 50 votes and no Republicans are planning to vote for this bill. Now, we are expecting a lot of debate, a lot of voting all weekend so still a ways to go on this but Democrats are hopeful they can get it wrapped up and sent to the president by early next week. With only three months to the midterms, Eva, they want a win here as soon as possible.