Biden defends Manchin deal, loudly coughs during event from covid isolation
President Joe Biden hammered out opponents of the Inflation Reduction Act in a “virtual” event from the White House amid his ongoing Covid isolation that Democratic leaders want to call within days.
“Look at the facts!” he told critics of the deal, which represents a last-ditch effort to salvage key climate and health elements from its domestic agenda.
“Despite what some people are saying, the Inflation Reduction Act ensures that no one making less than $400,000 a year will pay a cent more in federal taxes, despite all these ads you see on television,” he said at a virtual event with labor force. and business executives, as well as Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.
He referred to vocal opposition to the deal as Democrats race to get 50 votes for it after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin agreed on the measure with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. Leading Republicans have wrecked it, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page has been on a warpath against it.
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee ordered an analysis by the impartial Joint Taxation Committee, which found it would raise taxes for some people earning less than $400,000 — but Democrats pointed out that the analysis would reduce the many tax credits not researched.
President Biden’s ‘very occasional cough’ is improving, even as he continues to test positive for coronavirus
That analysis predicted that the minimum corporate tax of 15 percent of the deal on very large companies would make its way to consumers, although the bill doesn’t actually increase taxes for that group.
sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has yet to weigh in, though a leak Wednesday indicated she wants to scrap the language to eliminate the $14 billion “carried interest loophole” chasing hedge funders.
At one point during Thursday, he even coughed loudly into a salvo, picked up by his microphone. He also sipped from a paper cup. That came after White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor, had issued a new letter saying Biden, 79, still has “the occasional cough,” but it’s improving. He is also symptom free.
But Biden tested positive for covid again on Thursday and faces another day in isolation as his diagnosis continues.
After finally racking up some legislative victories, Biden turned Congress on edge.
‘Pass it on. Pass it on. Put it on my desk. Pass it on to the American people,” he insisted.
His battle with the virus hasn’t stopped Biden from pulling a much-heard prank on General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
“I’ve talked to the chairman about the possibility that I can buy one of those Corvettes that will be electric when they come out,” he said in the chat.
“I won’t be able to do it because I can’t drive a vehicle while I’m vice president—while I’m president, more than when I was vice president,” he corrected himself.
The isolation is beginning to affect Biden, he admitted on Wednesday.
“I wish I was with you in person, honestly,” Biden said at another virtual meeting at the White House at the time. “But I’ll get there.”
Biden made an appearance via zoom at events this week, including Wednesday as he attended the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, led by Vice President Kamala Harris.
He also delivered an evening speech from the White House residence to announce that a US attack had taken out Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The president’s isolation comes at a critical time. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer hopes to deliver a major “reconciliation vote” on the deal he negotiated with Senator Joe Manchin to spend billions on climate programs and introduce a corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent.
But the White House appears to be planning to host personal events soon.
Biden will sign the 2022 PACT bill in the Rose Garden next Monday, the White House announced.
The legislation, which expands health care for military veterans exposed to toxic burns, passed the Senate by an overwhelming 86 to 11 vote on Tuesday night. The Chamber is already working on it.
Joe Biden took part in a ‘light workout’ on Wednesday
Biden’s isolation came at a pivotal time, and included his announcement of the strike that eliminated al-Zawahiri
Next Tuesday, Biden will sign the CHIPS bill, the White House said.
White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor gave his latest update on the president’s condition
It is not entirely clear how long the president will remain grounded. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has said there are no CDC guidelines for people who get ‘rebound’ COVID cases after a previous infection.
Biden first tested positive for Covid on July 21 and experienced mild symptoms.
He tested negative on July 27 and returned to work in the West Wing, wearing a face mask.
He tested positive again on July 30 with a rebound case of Covid and has been in isolation ever since.
He last saw First Lady Jill Biden on July 20 and spent a lot of time with the couple’s canine commander while working from his upstairs office.
Biden took Paxlovid during his battle with covid, and a small percentage of patients taking the antiviral drug have a rebound case of the virus.