HBO host Bill Maher quipped it is “good to see” that Senate Democrats could be “bipartisan with themselves” after centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) signaled on Friday that she would support a reconciliation deal on tax reform, climate and health care.
During his monologue on Friday, Maher opined that President Biden had achieved several major accomplishments throughout the week while having COVID-19, including a likely consensus from all 50 Senate Democrats over their reconciliation package.
“And he got his big climate bill today. … Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona — you familiar with her?” Maher asked. “All right. Well, she joined up. … Good to see the Democrats can be bipartisan with themselves.”
Maher noted that Democrats gave up a tax provision in their bill targeting what has been considered a preferential tax rate for private equity and hedge fund managers to help win Sinema over.
“She was holding this up for something called the carried interest loophole. … Very important to her, and they gave it up,” Maher said. “It’s, you know, something only hedge fund managers care about. … She looked around Scottsdale and said, ‘It’s about time someone stood up for the wealthy.’”
The “Real Time With Bill Maher” host noted other successes Biden saw this week, including an astounding July jobs report on Friday that found the US added 528,000 jobs and unemployment was down to 3.5 percent, back to pre-pandemic levels.
Maher also noted that gas prices had decreased, among other things.
Last week, centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) said they had reached a deal on climate, tax reform and health care, after talks on Biden’s original Build Back Better plan appeared stalled.
The deal was a welcome surprise to Democrats, after Manchin poured cold water on the prospects of a bill following a report that inflation rose 9 percent annually.
Following the news, all eyes were on Sinema, who has sometimes been a thorn in her Democratic colleagues’ sides when it comes to getting their priorities passed.
Sinema announced Thursday evening that she had reached an agreement with Schumer to remove the carried interest tax loophole to support the package, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act.
Instead, senators added an excise tax on stock buybacks, which will bring in $74 billion in revenue.
Sinema’s agreement paves the way for her vote to proceed on Saturday in the process of budget reconciliation.