Democrats Finalize Deal?
July 27, 2022 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Manchin has agreed to a deal with party leadership that would spend over$400 billion, including $370 billion on climate. A corporate minimum tax of 15% would be established, more funding for the IRS to audit tax cheats, money is devoted to health care affordability, and Medicare can negotiate on prices. (Link goes to WP, here's the archive.org entry.)

While the deal is significantly smaller than the various proposed versions of the Build Back Better act, it's still the largest spending ever committed to climate and clean energy. Other priorities, such as child care and paid leave, didn't make it in.

Passage still depends on the narrow House majority and the non-existent Senate one, but expectations for passage seem high.

A few Twitter comments:

Top Line estimates
Details still coming out, even within congress, but Warren upbeat and Booker "psyched"
Manchin gets to brag about killing BBB, so he's willing to vote for it
posted by mark k (116 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
i hope it goes forward, but as always with Scumbag Manchin, watch for the rugpull
posted by glonous keming at 6:04 PM on July 27 [44 favorites]


This would have been very disappointing to me in early 2021 when ambitions were much higher. With hindsight, I'm skeptical anything much better than this was ever going to get pass. And when I woke up this morning I assumed we were getting nothing, so it's all upside as far as I'm concerned.

Looking forward to more details. At this point the quick takes from people I tend to trust are that what's in there is pretty good--for example, the corporate tax stuff should actually take some cash away from corporations. Apparently Manchin does get some pipeline approval out of this, which I'm not crazy about.

as always with Scumbag Manchin, watch for the rugpull

Very unsurprising MeFi that the first comment is 100% downside. :-)

This was announced in a Manchin press release so the current takes are that he's on board with this. There are other dangers to it.
posted by mark k at 6:07 PM on July 27 [18 favorites]


Manchin was on board with his own voting rights bill, until he wasn't.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 6:08 PM on July 27 [30 favorites]


I'll believe it when the votes are counted. Until then, I choose to withhold my judgment.
posted by tclark at 6:19 PM on July 27 [14 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren was just on MSNBC and she was super enthusiastic about this.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:22 PM on July 27 [12 favorites]


The question is, are we in the second act of Die Hard where the shitty supporting character who thinks he's the main character gets killed, or are we in the third act of Die Hard II where the shitty supporting character who thinks he's the main character saves the day?
posted by Etrigan at 6:25 PM on July 27 [8 favorites]


I'll believe it when the votes are counted.

Same here. Fingers, toes, and all other appendages crossed...
posted by May Kasahara at 6:44 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]


Thirding that I don't believe anything until it happens any more.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:47 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]


watch for the rugpull

From Manchin, or Sinema?
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:54 PM on July 27 [6 favorites]


There are another couple major bills heading to the Senate that could use Manchin's support. Now I'm wondering if his accepting this was a deal he struck with Schumer....so he could vote "no" on something else.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:03 PM on July 27 [3 favorites]


Manchin has to stay relevant in order to cash in on all those campaign contributions. If there aren't any ongoing negotiations, there's no reason to buy his vote. Until there's an actual bill which passes the Senate, this doesn't mean anything.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:15 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


There is speculation this may have been Schumer and Manchin putting one over on Mitch McConnell. McConnell had threatened to derail the bipartisan industrial policy "CHIPS" bill (which was mostly to support domestic semiconductor production) if the Democrats were to pass a climate and energy bill via reconciliation. McConnell removed his opposition to the CHIPS bill after Manchin pulled out of the climate bill and CHIPS passed the Senate this morning. With that bill out of the way Democrats can now pass the climate bill via reconciliation and McConnell has little leverage to stop it.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:16 PM on July 27 [26 favorites]


His rejection of SALT expansion means there are other dem senators who will likely resist passage. Would be a miracle if this ever makes it to law. Also Manchin is a fucking embarrassment and will inevitably fuck this up.
posted by docpops at 7:23 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]




Yeah, this does seem like the real deal much more so than previous versions. For one thing, in earlier spins around the block it was generally someone else announcing that they had talked with Manchin and he was on board with XYZ.

Then Manchin would come along a while later with his "Nope, nope, nope, they totally misunderstood what I was saying" routine.

Also . . . McConnell has been threatening that the CHipS Bill wasn't going to go anywhere unless BBB was completely off the table. So Manchin was all mumbling along about how BBB is dead, he couldn't possibly support that, blah-blah-blah. Now CHIPS was passed yesterday and suddenly we have this big announcement from Manchin & Schumer.

Its does make you think that maybe Manchin was playing McConnell. Playing! How about that!

Here is even an article on Slate speculating about the very same thing.

If true, this will raise my estimation of Manchin by at least 0.003 percentage points. Not a wholesale redemption on the scale of say Scrooge or the Grinch, but more along the lines of a just barely noticeable improvement from horrible to a just-slightly-less-abominable shade of horrible . . .
posted by flug at 7:32 PM on July 27 [18 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, mark k.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 7:51 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Its does make you think that maybe Manchin was playing McConnell. Playing! How about that!

Don't be confused about this, Manchin's constituents are a handful of billionaires. That's who he serves.

SCOTUS should never have legalized bribery. I don't see a way back from that.
posted by adept256 at 8:03 PM on July 27 [17 favorites]


METAFILTER: this will raise my estimation of Manchin by at least 0.003 percentage points.
posted by philip-random at 8:20 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Whenever I start to get mad at Joe Manchin I try to remember that none of Joe Biden's cabinet appointments or judicial nominations would have been approved if he wasn't in the Senate. The Georgia Miracle wouldn't have been possible with Manchin sitting on the Democratic side of the aisle. Ketanji Brown Jackson would not be a Supreme Court Justice without Joe Manchin in the Senate. So yes, I hate the guy. And yes, a couple of weeks ago I was in a daydreaming despairingly about how much his grandchildren will curse him when the floods wash their homes away. But I try to remember the epic terror the last two years would have been under a Republican-controlled Senate. And that the best way to reduce Manchin's power isn't it boot him out of office, but to elect just one more Democratic Senator.

Plus, I love the way he and Schumer have apparently stuck the shiv in Mitch McConnell. It's nice to see that Joe can make the other side miserable, too.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:21 PM on July 27 [50 favorites]


I love to be annoyed at Manchin but I pretty much agree with Winnie the Proust and feel like he's the best senator we might be able to get out of West Virginia these days. I feel like Sinema has a lot of the same issues with less excuse.

In any case, if this proceeds, I will take a win where a win can be taken.
posted by Whale Oil at 9:10 PM on July 27 [12 favorites]


It's all rug pulls all the way down.
posted by symbioid at 9:34 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]


(well football pulls, not rug pulls, sorry)
posted by symbioid at 9:36 PM on July 27 [1 favorite]


The democrats achieving something? Unlikely
The democrats achieving something through a clever stratagem? Vanishingly unlikely, if something has happened there it’s most likely unintentional
The democrats achieving something through a clever stratagem that involves Manchin betraying his friends the Republicans? That is not a real thing that can happen.
posted by Artw at 9:45 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]


i hope it goes forward, but as always with Scumbag Manchin, watch for the rugpull

I misread "rugpull" as "Nazgûl" and I gotta say, not far off.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:52 PM on July 27 [16 favorites]


if they pull this off AND get the electoral count act reform bill passed (there is bipartisan support in senate), that's some real shit. then biden will have gotten out of afghanistan, did an infrastructure bill, undid the election backdoor (or one of them), and done the biggest climate bill and upgraded the ACA.

that would be pretty damn good for 2 years. fingies crossed.
posted by wibari at 10:22 PM on July 27 [26 favorites]


I hope I'm wrong, but I can't believe Dems are falling for this shit once again. I really hope I'm completely wrong.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:33 PM on July 27 [2 favorites]


Especially pretty damn good for 2 years with absolutely appalling obstructionism from the Republicans in the Senate
posted by kristi at 10:34 PM on July 27 [5 favorites]


lucyfootball.gif
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:58 PM on July 27 [6 favorites]


How long can Manchin live? I've got fifty dollars on 2026. The problem is, nobody is telling me they will pay me or anything if I'm right, or collect.
posted by etc passwd at 1:01 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


I'm just going to link back to this thread in 3-4 years, and hope some kind of rich internet baron makes good on it in hindsight.
posted by etc passwd at 1:05 AM on July 28 [2 favorites]


They should have called it the WDDB (We Don't Deserve Better) Bill.
posted by acb at 1:15 AM on July 28 [6 favorites]




How long can Manchin live?

There's a nonzero chance that Democrats could actually pick up a couple of seats in the Senate in November, which would put an end to Manchin's current role as dealbreaker. His days as the center of attention may be numbered.
posted by gimonca at 4:15 AM on July 28 [3 favorites]


For things like judicial appointments, sure

The chances of the Dems keeping the house in today's climate? Pretty negligible....
posted by lalochezia at 4:16 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


Democrats keeping the House is about 50-50. It's unlikely to be a big flip against them like in 2010. Too much polarization and gerrymandering is already baked in--there just aren't that many flippable seats.

(My standard question for mainstream media pundits who say things like "the Republicans will pick up 40 seats"--Okay, which 40 would those be?)

It's also very possible that Republicans pick up the House by a razor-thin margin, and face their own version of gridlock.
posted by gimonca at 5:32 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]




Could this get the USPolitics tag? I no longer remember if OPs can add tags after posting. Been trying to use that tag to keep track of posts like this and it is frequently unused.
posted by rustybullrake at 7:06 AM on July 28 [5 favorites]


A snap reaction on Twitter from David Roberts, a really great clean energy policy reporter.
posted by nightcoast at 7:25 AM on July 28 [3 favorites]


The Manchin Rule: Until the senator actually shows he’s operating in good faith, we’ll presume otherwise.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:39 AM on July 28 [3 favorites]


The Manchin Rule: Until the senator actually shows he’s operating in good faith, we’ll presume otherwise.

Which is why it'd be hi-freakin'-larious if this time Mitch McConnell got burned by it.
posted by Gelatin at 7:44 AM on July 28 [4 favorites]


Its does make you think that maybe Manchin was playing McConnell. Playing! How about that!

McConnell and the Republicans don't give a shit. Instead of holding the CHIPS bill hostage, they've pivoted to blocking a bill which supports military veterans who were exposed to burn pits.

Anger as Republicans block bill to help military veterans exposed to toxins
Republicans blocked the veterans measure just after Schumer, from New York, and Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, announced they had reached a deal on a sweeping tax and climate measure.

The Schumer-Manchin announcement reportedly caught Republicans off guard after another big measure, to support the US semiconductor industry, passed the chamber earlier in the day.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:06 AM on July 28 [6 favorites]


Manchin has already given McConnell the 2022 and 2024 elections, I doubt Mitch is that sore about the possibility of this passing.

And don’t forget the other half of the double act will probably step in if it comes to that.
posted by Artw at 9:13 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


Surely by now the only value proposition for voting Republican is the hope that they hurt people/groups you hate more than you.
posted by acb at 9:23 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


From the David Roberts Twitter thread that nightcoast posted above:
Big picture reaction: it hasn't passed yet, and passage is far, far from a sure thing, but if it does pass, the cliche everyone is repeating is correct: this will be the largest single action ever taken against climate change by the United States. (It's a low bar to clear.)

...

Great to see that the EV tax credits survived -- especially nice to see tax credits for low and middle-income people to get used EVs. Great to see the environmental justice provisions mostly intact. Great to see money for a green bank. Great to see manufacturing tax credits.

...

I suspect once we see the full details, there will be bits and pieces of Manchin-pleasing "energy security" nonsense throughout. Some of it might be extremely annoying. But its effect is almost certain to be vastly swamped by decarbonization from clean energy.

...

I'll want to see modeling from @jessejenkins' crew before I venture any kind of final judgment, but the most important take-home is: compared to nothing, which is what it looked like we were getting yesterday, this is a fucking Christmas miracle.

...

One thing I forgot to call out but which is among the most delightful provisions: $3 billion more for USPS to electrify its fleet! ... Electric vehicles for the US Postal Service would reduce noise, air, and carbon pollution in every community.
I hadn't even thought about tax credits for buying USED EVs. That does indeed sound like a great idea.

Thanks for sharing that thread, nightocean!
posted by kristi at 9:27 AM on July 28 [9 favorites]


It's a $4k rebate on a used EV, so you don't have to owe that much in taxes or wait until tax time to get money back. With both this and the $7.5k on a new EV, the dealer will be able to take it off the purchase price. Here's a very good summary of the EV details.

Unfortunately the 30% tax credit on solar is still only a tax credit and cannot be applied to subsequent years' taxes. (Per PV magazine)
posted by joeyh at 10:01 AM on July 28 [3 favorites]




@lindsemcpherson earlier today: NEW: Manchin says he’s not talked to Sinema about the reconciliation deal and that he’s not willing to lose the provision to change the taxation of carried interest, which she has previously opposed. “The only thing I was adamant about was the carried interest.”

:grimace emoji:
posted by Going To Maine at 10:46 AM on July 28 [4 favorites]


@dougjballoon: Joe Manchin says he'll support the Green New Deal if Biden brings back the Choco Taco, but Sinema says she'll only support the Green New Deal if includes a clause preventing the manufacture and sale of the Choco Taco.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:47 PM on July 28 [8 favorites]


Via the NYTimes:
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona and another holdout on her party’s domestic policy package, skipped the Democratic caucus meeting on Thursday and would not comment on the bill or indicate whether she planned to support it.
I think it's time to turn off all my news feeds for a couple of weeks.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 1:54 PM on July 28 [4 favorites]


On the one hand Manchin is the hard get of the two since this is about climate.
On the other, Sinema is a clown.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:32 PM on July 28 [2 favorites]


I'm looking for some more info on this, but the NYT says that Manchin's agreeing to this bill is related to the absolutely horrible no good Mountain Valley Pipeline bringing horrible horrible fracked gas (way over budget and the recipient of lots of fines for the shit they are doing while plowing through pristine forests and creeks). The MVP goes through West Virginia among other states, and apparently Manchin could benefit from this. Manchin is also an absolutely horrible no good person.

This from the NYT
As part of the agreement, Mr. Manchin said he had also secured a commitment from both Mr. Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California that Congress would approve a separate measure to address the permitting of energy infrastructure, potentially including natural gas pipelines, before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
Such reforms could ease the way for a project in which Mr. Manchin has taken a personal interest, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would transport Appalachian shale gas from West Virginia to Virginia.

Some environmental advocates rejected the entire package because of those provisions. Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity called the deal “a total catastrophe” that would lead to more emissions in the atmosphere.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:02 PM on July 28 [2 favorites]


SCOTUS should never have legalized bribery.

I assume this refers to election finance. My rudimentary understanding of how things work in the States is that the elimination of "earmarks" was a prime mover behind the extreme polarization of Congress, as it eliminated the principal carrot used to get cross-aisle votes. So Congress in essence banned bribery (which sounds like a good thing) but with the severe unintended consequence of not getting shit done.
posted by Rumple at 3:17 PM on July 28 [5 favorites]


So Congress in essence banned bribery (which sounds like a good thing) but with the severe unintended consequence of not getting shit done.

It wasn't "Congress", it was John Boehner, and it was absolutely an intended consequence.
posted by Etrigan at 5:24 PM on July 28 [5 favorites]


It maintains oil leasing and carbon capture which keeps energy prices up, so Manchin can still make money.

It ensures that clean energy cannot out compete oil leasing offshore.

Oil business will choke wind development even more

There s a bunch of fake carbon capture nonsense, which will mainly hurt Black coastal residents who cannot vote, so the US doesn't really care.

Basically Schumer sold out the Gulf region for the rest of it. Many of us were already past crying, but it really is a sad day for those of us down in the oil colony.
posted by eustatic at 6:35 PM on July 28 [2 favorites]


If you are calling carbon capture a climate solution, the IPCC would like.a word with you.

The economists have said that clean energy cannot develop too fast or it will undermine the carbon capture rationale, so it seems that that is what this bill does, limits offshore wind to oil leasing. but I know I am not surprised, so why do I feel so bad that the obvious oil industry package is what got through.
posted by eustatic at 6:52 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]


It ensures that clean energy cannot out compete oil leasing offshore.

Oil business will choke wind development even more


Just FYI: Offshore wind is a subject I track as part of my job. Things are looking EXTREMELY good right now for U.S. offshore wind development.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy management held an auction for offshore wind leases in the New York Bight (off the coasts of New York and New Jersey) in February, and brought in over $4.3 billion, far more than expected -- and more than any offshore energy lease sale in U.S. history.

Last week, BOEM announced that it's moving forward with setting aside 2 areas in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore wind development.

Just yesterday, the governor of New York announced a third solicitation for offshore wind energy development.

No doubt this new Manchin-approved bill is full of compromises and half-measures. But please don't spread unwarranted doom about offshore wind.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:40 PM on July 28 [24 favorites]


Analysis I'm seeing on the climate part so far is very much of the "this is a real step forward" on the deal, annoying leasing provisions notwithstanding. For example:

David Roberts on PBS Newshour
Rhodium group estimates
Bloomberg
Dr. Leah Stokes on MSNBC
MIT Technology Review

Combined with very cheap renewables that were already putting US emissions on a downward trajectory, and potential executive and state action, it seems possible that somehow we're in shouting distance of the Paris 2030 goals. (Assuming this passes and we can somehow avoid reversing policy over the next decade, of course.)
posted by mark k at 12:56 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


It's sad to see the sacrifices of the tree sitters, who thus far had blocked the opening Mountain Valley Pipeline, get shunted aside in this deal. If this goes through, I pray it will be a net win for the climate despite the loss it will mean for WV. Perhaps the tree sitters work will not have been in vain if it turns out the MVP was the final bargaining chip that sets things in motion.
posted by Press Butt.on to Check at 5:33 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Like this is far from perfect but we're increasingly back to howl-into-the-voidfilter and like, that makes it a lot harder to skim for anything containing actual information.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:51 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Noah Smith, The Inflation Reduction Act: Some initial thoughts.
Biden’s initial economic agenda was about job provision in care industries, redistribution via cash benefits, and increasing investment. In a post a couple of weeks ago, I argued that the first two of these were just not going to happen anytime soon, for several reasons. Care job provision throws government subsidies at already-overpriced service industries. Cash benefits turned out to be less popular than I had anticipated. And most importantly, providing jobs and handing out cash are both inflationary, and inflation is our big economic problem at the moment. So I advocated keeping only the third part of Bidenomics — investment — since this would be deflationary in the medium-term.

It looks like that’s exactly what has happened. The well-named Inflation Reduction Act contains a large amount of government investment, mostly in the energy space. But it also has a lot of revenue-raising measures. Overall, the bill is predicted to reduce the deficit by $288 billion over the decade. Deficit reduction is disinflationary. Government investment is inflationary in the short term and deflationary in the medium term, but the tax increases should more than cancel out the short-term inflationary piece. In other words, this bill probably will help fight inflation (though I still think the Fed is the front line of defense).

... One really good aspect of the Inflation Reduction Act is that it attacks the biggest barrier to investment in America: Ruinous costs. If we’re going to create an age of abundance, we’re going to need to build things cheaply, and currently we simply can’t.

Manchin and Schumer’s proposal attacks costs in both energy and health care. In energy, the bill would reform the way permits are granted for new projects, making it harder for NIMBYs to use environmental excuses to block construction. That’s going to make a lot of legacy environmental groups very mad, but that’s fine — in recent years, they’ve been using their clout to block renewable projects of every kind, all over the country. Solving climate change involves giving the government the power to override local NIMBYism, even NIMBYism that cloaks itself in the mantle of environmental protection. And hopefully, permitting reform will become a fad — we could also use it in the case of transit projects.

In addition to energy and transportation, another thing Americans grievously overpay for is health care — our cobbled-together private-public Frankenstein system produces results about as good as other rich countries but at twice the cost. The best solution to this is to have a national health insurer that can negotiate down prices for every health service, the way Medicare currently negotiates down prices for the subset of services it buys. Another possible solution is price controls for health services, like those employed in Japan.

The Inflation Reduction Act would take steps toward doing both of those.
Of course from a purely political point of view, Manchin and Schumer outmaneuvering McConnell is pretty sweet. Reuters:
News of the agreement came hours after the Senate passed sweeping legislation to subsidize the domestic semiconductor chip industry with several Republican votes.

Last month, top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell promised to block the "Chips bill" as it is known, unless Democrats abandoned their plans for a reconciliation bill like the one Manchin and Schumer outlined. The House will vote on the "Chips bill" on Thursday, but Republicans don't have the votes to block it on their own.
Newsweek: Democrats Just Beat Mitch McConnell at His Own Game.
posted by russilwvong at 8:27 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


To quote GCU Sweet and Full of Grace on last summer's bipartisan infrastructure bill:
Fuckers got rolled, is what just happened.

There's this thing where any time Republicans win something, or sort of win something, or hold the status quo and claim it as a win, all their followers start jumping up and down about what a huge victory that was and the media follow suit and by golly it looks like the Republicans won! But any time the Democrats win something, all their followers immediately start looking for something that's wrong with it and talk endlessly about how awful it is and by golly those Democrats sure look like chumps!
posted by russilwvong at 8:53 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


lucyfootball.gif
The frustrating thing about watching politics in real time, Crisis Politics in particular, is that it's so hard to separate "literally futile" from "the process is really slow." I don't mean that I have any idea about whether we're going to see Dems achieve major legislation or whether we're in for two-and-a-half years of paralysis and decay—I'm past thinking that I know how to tell which is which. But things like this, voting rights, or the progress of the 1/6 commission all fall into that same category: they move slowly, everyone wants to know the end results today, and half the people following along are convinced that This Is Finally It while the other half are convinced that Everything's Fucked.

The only way I've found to get around this is to pay less attention, but these days that means avoiding basically every web site but Letterboxd. Sucks to have a culture built around the idea that 24/7 news isn't immediate enough! Sucks worse that politics is both in an awful place and slow as molasses, though. Movies had me thinking that the end of the world would start in the morning and leave me free for lunch.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 8:53 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


To quote GCU Sweet and Full of Grace on last summer's bipartisan infrastructure bill:

This "victory" is a year overdue and in the meantime we've had a slew of horrible Supreme Court decisions including the overturning of Roe and it's still up in the air as to whether we'll even still be living in a democracy in the next few years or whether the Democrats even have a plan to fight back.

But if you see this as just some big game and just want to cheer when your "team" scores some sort of arbitrary "point" then go ahead and cheer.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:02 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Eh. Let’s get the counter up to one(1) achievement not blocked by Manchin before we start counting chickens or spinning an elaborate redemption arc for him, eh?
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Given that a pivotal Congressional election is coming up, having the "team" score some kind of arbitrary "point" can increase morale and motivate voters, so I suggest that it might be part of the "plan" -- the plan being, limit Republican gains in November.

Though I admit that the Republicans subsequently voting against veterans benefits, doubtless to be the subject of future attack ads, is likely just an own goal, if an egregiously petty one.

The horrible Supreme Court rulings were inevitable since the 2016 election, as was noted at the time.
posted by Gelatin at 9:09 AM on July 29 [7 favorites]


I don't want this to spiral into yet another one of these arguments.

Honestly, I feel uncomfortable celebrating a compromise like this because I'm afraid that nothing more will be done and I want this to be just one piece of legislation in a series of incremental advances, not the once-in-a-generation-there-we-fixed-it-forever hyperbole that so many of these things get turned into (e.g. the recent gun control legislation). Yes, this bill does a lot of good to address climate change, but it's also been a very long time since anything at all has been done and there were also a lot of other good things that were left out of the bill and there's no guarantee that any of them will ever be reconsidered in my lifetime.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:20 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I am sure Democrats will rightly tout their accomplishment at passing any gun control legislation at all, but I also doubt, strongly, that a single Congressional Democrat regards that legislation as a "once-in-a-generation-there-we-fixed-it-forever hyperbole," even if the former can be uncharitably spun as the latter.

The American people want sensible gun control legislation; the ones blocking it are Republicans. Even if revulsion over the most recent mass shootings means not all Republicans dared block this recent legislation, it's a sign that they recognize that their position is weak and unpopular, not the Democrats'.
posted by Gelatin at 11:19 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


And again: Celebrating wins is part of how one motivates supporters.
posted by Gelatin at 11:20 AM on July 29 [9 favorites]


Requires wins.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I am sure Democrats will rightly tout their accomplishment at passing any gun control legislation at all

That's the problem. That's the disconnect. Democrats all too often celebrate the accomplishment of sausage-making while quietly ignoring the quality of the sausage. Yes, it's an accomplishment to pass any form of gun control legislation at all given Republican opposition, but do they really deserve a pat on the back for doing the absolute barest of what needs to be done? The final legislation is hardly an achievement unless you're a political nerd who appreciates how difficult it was to get it passed. The rest of us would just appreciate a little more restraint when celebrating and a roadmap for the next incremental change so we can be motivated.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:41 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


"Fuckers got rolled"? What a bunch of nonsense. The infrastructure quarter-of-a-loaf was almost immediately followed by the Dems getting rolled by Manchin on BBB! It makes even less sense now, since on top of all that:

1) The bill isn't even final, let alone voted on.
2) Senators on both sides of the aisle are already planning fuckery (looking at you and SALT deductions, NJ Dems).

And last but not least

3) We have no idea what Schumer traded for these magic beans, and whether or not it's one of the load-bearing pillars of democracy that would make everything worthwhile in this bill meaningless once the fascists take everything.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 11:44 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Requires wins.

This Congress passed gun control legislation. A Republican Congress wouldn't.

But sure, the Democrats are the enemy here. Whatever, I'm done.
posted by Gelatin at 12:07 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


I mean, the Democrats are, as we speak, pouring tens of millions of dollars into getting the craziest right-wing Republicans elected because apparently they're still stuck in 1992. Seems pretty evil to me.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 12:24 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I wouldn’t say anybody “rolled” the republicans. I would say that the dems may have partially salvaged *some* important provisions with the help of a good old fashioned head-fake, and I won’t exhale till the bill is on Biden’s desk.

But I will take the win with a big old smile on my face, and not just because nobody likes a sourpuss (even though that’s true).

The enemy is dug in. Cavalry charges won’t work. Head fakes, tactical retreats, surprising alliances that split the opposing coalition… that’s what we need from our team.
Any progress that’s actually there to make will be made through sneakiness, and (sometimes) by giving our leaders the political cover they need to cut deals. Ugly business for an ugly world.
posted by ducky l'orange at 2:08 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


We have no idea what Schumer traded for these magic beans.

But we do know. They traded accelerated permitting of infrastructure projects, including fossil fuel projects. That parts stinks. But, on balance, I'll take it because the bill overall starts walking us back from the brink.

All of the enviro pundits that I follow are also, on balance, very happy with they bill. They are clear that we need to do more. But they are also clear that it gets us moving in the right direction. A week ago it looked like we'd just be whistling while the planet burned. People who study climate were in despair. If this bill passes, we will be taking significant steps in the right direction.

I don't understand how people can react to this by saying, "Democrats are lame and never get anything done." Democrats? Democrats don't even have a majority of seats in the Senate. They only control the Senate because Kamala Harris can break tie votes.

Instead of railing against Democrats, we should focus on holding the House and gaining one or two or three Senate seats. BBB was within two Senators of passing. It had already passed the House. Before we pass judgement on Democrats, let's try giving Democrats a working majority. Then, sure, judge against your ideals. Now? I'll be very thankful that there were enough Democrats and and enough hard work put in to get this done.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 2:09 PM on July 29 [11 favorites]


Yes, this bill does a lot of good to address climate change, but it's also been a very long time since anything at all has been done

I wish people wouldn't use ridiculous hyperbole like this.

The cost of solar energy has fallen by 70%-80% over the last decade.

As of a couple years ago, renewables were responsible for as much of the U.S. electricity supply as coal (each contributing about 20%). That ratio is only improving.

I commented in this very thread about the great work the Biden administration has been doing to rapidly develop offshore wind.

There is a lot of stuff happening, if you keep your eyes open for it. Don't succumb to, and spread, doomerism.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:13 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


But we do know.

No, we don't.

We know what Schumer had to do to this bill (i.e., weaken it) to get Manchin on board, but we absolutely don't know if he's promised to let Manchin do what he wants on future legislation. For all we know, he could have traded away codifying gay rights, or future electoral reform, or any of the many other things Democrats twiddled their thumbs over for the last several decades that many now expect to be gone by this time next year.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 2:26 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


“Doomerism” at this point is basically anything other than complete and utter denial of realtyto avoid offending people with a weird parasocial relationship with the Democratic Party.
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Parasocial relationship

Come on, like you’ve never sent yourself a valentine’s card signed “Love, Dianne Feinstein.”
posted by ducky l'orange at 2:53 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


The Republicans seem legitimately angry about this deal, and the fact that the CHIPS act passed before the announcement, that it seems like there's something here. Environmental groups and analysts are legitimately excited.

I'd consider taking David Malki's advice here: Sometimes things are complicated, and the best strategy to know if you're on the right track is to figure out who is cheering you on.

Eh. Let’s get the counter up to one(1) achievement not blocked by Manchin before we start counting chickens or spinning an elaborate redemption arc for him, eh?

There was the $2 trillion in relief funds, which is why despite all the many problems with the economy unemployment is still hovering around a historical low of 3.6%. I realize this was all of one year ago, but it was kind of a big deal. Infrastructure was less dramatic but not nothing.

For all we know, he could have traded away codifying gay rights, or future electoral reform, or any of the many other things Democrats twiddled their thumbs over for the last several decades that many now expect to be gone by this time next year.

He needed Manchin's vote to do any of those things. It would be awesome deal making if he got something out of Manchin by making a secret, unenforceable promise not to do stuff he doesn't have the power to do anyway, and he should do more of that. It'd be like me paying for a new car by promising not to win the lottery.

“Doomerism” at this point is basically anything other than complete and utter denial of realty to avoid offending people with a weird parasocial relationship with the Democratic Party.

I am . . . not a fan of the Democrats? I am so angry at so much. But I don't think of politics like a team sport or a twitter follow. For me it's what policy can we get out of this fucking mess?

The personality obsessed comments on this thread are not coming from the mildly optimistic commenters here.
posted by mark k at 3:37 PM on July 29 [18 favorites]


“Doomerism” at this point is basically anything other than complete and utter denial of realty to avoid offending people with a weird parasocial relationship with the Democratic Party.

Nope. Doomerism is saying things like "it's also been a very long time since anything at all has been done" to stop climate change, when this is plainly untrue. That's what I responded to, with a list of just a few things that have been and are being done (and not just by the Democratic Party).

But doomers gotta doom, I guess.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:27 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Mod note: A couple deleted. Artw, you've already posted your thoughts that dems haven't achieved anything several times, no need to just keep repeating the same thing.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:43 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Newsworthy, in a Politico Tiger Beat on the Potomac kind of way: tomorrow, Joe Manchin will join icons like Rick Lazio, Michele Bachmann, and Jay Sekulow when he executes a Full Ginsburg.
posted by box at 11:57 AM on July 30 [2 favorites]


And now all eyes turn to Arizona, where Kyrsten Sinema meditates on the bill's lengthy text to summon the focus necessary to determine whether it meets her lofty standards.

Hopefully she doesn't blow it up. There is a lot good in the bill, some bad too, but a lot of good. From my perspective, people seem excited about this bill because it gives us a chance to possibly meet CO2 reduction goals that will ensure only a moderately sized disaster rather than a huge one.

In the words of a famous movie character from the 90's: So your're saying there's a chance?

Overall, I think its best viewed as a foundation for other measures we can hopefully pass the next time Republicans screw up enough that Democrats get control of the presidency, house, and senate.

For example, mass transit investment is badly needed. There are parts of the bill that will help future mass transit investments because those sections will help clear red tape that holds up transit construction.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Medicare being able to negotiate prescription drug prices, which is a huge win.
posted by eagles123 at 9:29 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


But, on balance, I'll take it because the bill overall starts walking us back from the brink.

There's always more to do, it's just that when bills start coming up it becomes measurable. It's reasonable for people to get frustrated that any particular legislation doesn't tackle more of the items on the endless list, but every step is just one step of many and we do the best we can with the legislators we have. And from what I can tell, there are some long-awaited steps in this bill.
posted by rhizome at 3:12 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


The thing is, IF this passes, it gives Democrats the ability to say "We did actually do something to address climate change - which is why you should re-elect us, and elect more of us, so we aren't stuck with a 50-50 split in the Senate and we can actually do MORE for the next two years."

I know many people don't believe they WOULD do more, even without the obstructionism of Senators Manchin and Sinema, but if we had the kind of slim but decisive majority in the Senate that we have in the House, we COULD get more legislation passed. If we had 53 or 54 Democratic senators, it's possible we could change the filibuster rules and actually pass the things the majority of Americans - even the majority of Republican voters - actually want.

I am one of the most optimistic of MeFites, and even I won't celebrate until this bill has been passed by both houses and signed into law. (Well, okay, I'll celebrate a little, because for me, a slim ray of hope is better than none at all.) But if it does become law, it gives Democrats one more thing to point to - in addition to unwavering support for veteran benefits and the phenomenally successful American Rescue Plan, plus the recent House votes protecting essential rights (the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, the Right to Contraception Act) and banning assault weapons - to remind voters that one party actually wants to get stuff done.

Here's hoping.
posted by kristi at 11:54 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


As part of the agreement, Mr. Manchin said he had also secured a commitment from both Mr. Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California that Congress would approve a separate measure to address the permitting of energy infrastructure, potentially including natural gas pipelines, before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

If I were Joe or Nancy I would get this bill passed and the moment Manchin isn't useful anymore (maybe the senate elections work out for us somehow, possibly???), I'd start talking about how he misunderstood the deal and the pipeline is dead. I know they don't play that way but if they did, I would respect them more.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:03 PM on July 31


A bit on the "pipeline" deal from the WP.

I'd been curious about this, as I'd seen it said it need congressional approval. It's a general bill expediting "energy infrastructure" and would need 60 votes. Obviously Democratic leadership can't guarantee 50 votes for anything, let alone 60. It would limit reviews to 2 years and try to centralize approval in a single agency. I've got mixed feelings, as the US has ridiculous performance compared to other peer nations on cost and time to build infrastructure.

But it seems that in general Republicans have been willing to vote for this sort of thing--which means by my "check who's cheering you on" heuristic the downside is likely too high on this particular bill.

If the deal wasn't to advance a single specific bill to a vote it seems like it could be possible to add more incentives for renewables in this sort of thing. Which might poison it for Republicans, but that has some upside too.
posted by mark k at 4:29 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


There s a lot of pipelines, not just one. There will probably be at least 30 pipelines for LNG and CCS.
posted by eustatic at 8:19 PM on August 1


And then there will be pipelines from this or that LNG to the CCS. Look at OK-TX-LA, it s a spiderweb of horrors.
posted by eustatic at 8:21 PM on August 1


Matthew Yglesias:
Climate is a very high priority for the high-socioeconomic-status liberals who dominate both the media and Democratic Party staff, but for persuadable voters, the health care and deficit reduction provisions of the bill are probably more appealing. And it’s important to try to encourage public discussion of that stuff so people realize it continues to be a significant divide between the parties.

[On taxing the rich:] If fiscal policy is draining demand from the economy, then the Fed can stabilize inflation with fewer interest rate hikes.

That’s important because high interest rates are essentially a tax on investment that can impair the economy’s long-term productive capacity. Republicans will say that the problem with IRA is that taxing the rich reduces investment and thereby impairs the economy’s long-term productive capacity. But while it’s certainly true that highly progressive taxes like the ones in IRA fall partially on investment, they also fall on rich people’s consumption. So given the inflationary circumstances, taxing the rich to reduce the deficit and diminish the burden on the Fed helps protect the inflation side of the economy while also protecting the lowest-income consumers.

This was the big economic debate way back in 1993 when Republicans swore that Bill Clinton taxing the rich would crush investment and economic growth while Clinton argued (correctly) that deficit reduction to reduce interest rates would be good.
New York Times: Democrats’ Plan to Fight Inflation May Lower Costs Over Time. A package of tax increases, lower drug prices and other provisions aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit could alleviate rapid price gains.
posted by russilwvong at 4:05 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Climate is a very high priority for the high-socioeconomic-status liberals who dominate both the media and Democratic Party staff, but for persuadable voters, the health care and deficit reduction provisions of the bill are probably more appealing.

I have a lot of skepticism about this claim.

1. persuadable voters. So he's talking about a few true independents waffling. What he is not considering with this statement is potential voters under 30 or under 35, for whom this is the top issue or close to it, who are less motivated to vote precisely because they see a party that is not acting on climate. I would need to see some very reputable numbers showing that there are more "persuadable" voters than young people who could be motivated TO VOTE.
2. people who are lower income care this much about "deficit reduction", so much it could persuade them to vote for Democrats?
posted by Emmy Rae at 5:10 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


This is Matt Yglesias we're talking about here, a centrist boob and occasional white supremacist who regularly platforms his violently transphobic buddies like Jesse Singal.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 5:28 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


1. persuadable voters. So he's talking about a few true independents waffling. What he is not considering with this statement is potential voters under 30 or under 35, for whom this is the top issue or close to it, who are less motivated to vote precisely because they see a party that is not acting on climate. I would need to see some very reputable numbers showing that there are more "persuadable" voters than young people who could be motivated TO VOTE.

Voters under 30 vote less reliably than older voters. This has always been true.

There is this idea that they're withholding their votes because the elderly Dem leadership is ignoring them. It's more the other way around: the Democratic Party doesn't adopt the agenda of young voters because those voters can't be relied on to reward them for doing so. Older voters, on the other hand -- many of whom vote like clockwork in every single election, including midterms -- can be counted on to notice and reward politicians who pay attention to their priorities. So the politicians pay attention.

In any case, Pew Research Center polling from earlier this year says that for adults under 30, reducing health care costs (64%) and improving education (62%) are higher priorities than dealing with climate change (54%). Improving the job situation is about as equally important to that demographic (52%) as climate progress.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:36 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


In any case, Pew Research Center polling from earlier this year

Polling two weeks ago had Kansans outlawing abortion by 4% (47-43), the actual results look like voters will be keeping abortion legal by a whopping 18% (59-41).
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 4:09 AM on August 3




Glegrinof, someone quoted Yglesias as saying that climate change is not the top issue for most Dem voters. Someone else said that in fact, it was the top issue for under-30 voters. I showed a poll indicating that it's not. What does the Kansas abortion referendum have to do with any of this?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:00 AM on August 3


It's an example to illustrate how he worships polls to the degree that they determine pretty much everything he seems willing to support, including whether or not the marginalized people that both his personal and professional circles seem excited to put on cattle cars deserve basic human and civil rights.

His determination to believe polls alone determine who Democrats should protect is the core of his entire ethos, so it's not surprising that when he starts talking about what "top issues" we should focus in this bill, he's also writing shitty Substack articles on why Democrats should abandon abortions after the first trimester, just replacing "high-socioeconomic-status liberals" with "the college educated liberals who control the commanding heights of the Democratic Party politics". Which, btw, seem like is his too-clever-by-half way of saying "liberal coastal elites" without the winking and leering antisemitism being so out in the open like it is with someone like Ted Cruz.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 12:55 PM on August 3


Equating a mention of "college educated liberals" with antisemitism seems like a pretty big leap to me... especially given that Yglesias is Jewish.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:22 PM on August 3


FWIW, I find Yglesias sometimes makes reasonable, fact-based arguments, and sometimes is pointlessly contrarian and trollish. (Maybe he read too many Slate articles at a formative age?)

The passage quoted above seems pretty fact-based in asserting that "high-socioeconomic-status liberals" prioritize climate change higher than most other groups do. I could probably be described as falling into that group, and I certainly prioritize climate change.

I am also aware that lots of people, including many who vote Democratic, do not prioritize it as highly as I do. I think it's useful to be aware of this fact (and to be aware of what issues other Dem voters do prioritize) if one wishes to understand how politics actually works. But YMMV.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:45 PM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I am also aware that lots of people, including many who vote Democratic, do not prioritize it as highly as I do. I think it's useful to be aware of this fact (and to be aware of what issues other Dem voters do prioritize) if one wishes to understand how politics actually works. But YMMV.

The answer is to (1) keep working to get people to prioritize climate change more highly, if possible, and making the case that funds and actions are needed; and (2) to the extent that people's priorities aren't changing, fuck them and find every possible legitimate avenue to do it anyway, because it's just that important.

The answer is not to sit back and sagely stroke our goatees while explaining how ACTUALLY inaction on climate change is the politically savvy play like Yglesias does.

(And same thing with abortion rights.)
posted by Gadarene at 2:24 PM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Yglesias doesn't advocate for inaction on climate change. In the quoted text, he says that other elements of the bill will be more appealing to many voters. That doesn't feel particularly controversial to me.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:01 PM on August 4 [2 favorites]


Sinema's inema!
posted by lalochezia at 7:09 PM on August 4 [6 favorites]


But the carried interest reform is scrapped. I was happy about getting rid of it: a weird tax incentive that mostly helps rich financiers and gives them broken incentives (if you win with other people’s money, you make money, especially if you win big; but if you lose a lot of the other people’s money, you don’t lose anything, you just fail to win. Encourages taking of more risk since there’s no downside).

It also doesn’t really make a lot of sense as a thing to “win”. Which of my fellow Arizonans are happy about her protection of this provision again?

Grr.
posted by nat at 12:17 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


It's sad to see the sacrifices of the tree sitters, who thus far had blocked the opening Mountain Valley Pipeline, get shunted aside in this deal. If this goes through, I pray it will be a net win for the climate despite the loss it will mean for WV. Perhaps the tree sitters work will not have been in vain if it turns out the MVP was the final bargaining chip that sets things in motion.

No resistance is in vain. In a mass extinction it is not just the amount of change to habitats and biogeochemical cycles, it is the rate of change that is also a kill switch. The rate of anthropogenic CO2 release has no precedent in the Cenozoic Era; it is the fastest change in pCO2 since the extinction of the dinosaurs. To say nothing of rampant overfishing, terrestrial habitat destruction, toxic chemical release, et cetera. The rate of change is part and parcel of the Anthropocene extinction; arguably, it IS the extinction. An ecosystem can maybe handle one big change. But when the change happens ten times as fast and when it's compounded on top of another simultaneous change, the ecosystem collapses.

This means that even when acts of resistance "fail," they also succeed because they have slowed down the rate of change. So if the tiny sliver of deceleration imposed by the tree sitters counts as a failure, then give me more failure on all fronts.
posted by cubeb at 10:18 AM on August 5 [14 favorites]


The first procedural vote has passed, 51-50 (CNN).

Next, 20 hours of debate, then the vote-a-rama, and then it goes to the House.

If this passes, I will forever think of it as the Warnock-Ossoff-Harris Climate Bill.
posted by kristi at 5:29 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


AKA the Sinema Carried Interest Preservation Act.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:07 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


We've waited forty-three years for meaningful climate action by the US federal government, and still they're going to make us wait at least twelve more hours... if you want to watch the vote-a-rama, going "strong" since midnight, come watch it creak by here...
posted by nightcoast at 8:44 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


...passed!!!
posted by nightcoast at 12:23 PM on August 7 [9 favorites]


An amendment, S.Amdt. 5472, introduced by John Thune (R-SD) to 'remove harmful small business taxes,' passed 57-43, with every Republican plus Catherine Cortez Mastro (NM), Maggie Hassan (NH), Mark Kelly (AZ), Jon Ossoff (GA), Jacky Rosen (NV), Kristen Sinema (AZ), and Raphael Warnock (GA) voting for it.

Another amendment, S.Amdt. 5488, introduced by Raphael Warnock (D-GA) to 'strike the extension of the limitation on State and local taxes and extend the limitation on excess business losses of noncorporate taxpayers,' passed 50-50 on a party line.
posted by box at 12:50 PM on August 7


I am not naive and I know this bill leaves a lot of work to be done on multiple fronts. But I've been experiencing so much ongoing despair that that no one with any real power was doing anything to address climate change on remotely the necessary scale--and they finally did something today.

I feel more hopeful this afternoon than I have in a long time. We have something to build on. It feels damn good.
posted by Tuba Toothpaste at 1:31 PM on August 7 [7 favorites]


(Axios, The Hill, and Politico all have coverage (so do WaPo and the NYT, but those are paywalled).)
posted by box at 1:34 PM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Thanks for those links, box!

From the Axios piece:
One major setback, however, was a ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian that determined Democrats' proposal to place a $35 cap on commercial insulin violated the "Byrd Rule," which governs the provisions for what can be accepted in budget reconciliation legislation.

Democrats tried, and failed, to attach an amendment including the insulin provision to the bill, but Republicans voted it down, eliminating it from the package.
I look forward to ads in dozens of states pointing out the Republican senators who voted against affordable insulin.
posted by kristi at 7:11 PM on August 7 [3 favorites]


FWIW, I find Yglesias sometimes makes reasonable, fact-based arguments, and sometimes is pointlessly contrarian and trollish. (Maybe he read too many Slate articles at a formative age?)

Before he helped found vox.com, Matt wrote for Slate.
posted by mmascolino at 1:17 PM on August 8


sometimes is pointlessly contrarian and trollish

Twitter: pointlessly contrarian and trollish
posted by Going To Maine at 2:31 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


The climate bill passed the House!!

Next stop: the White House, for President Biden's signature.

I'm so happy!

(And I'm just imagining a world in which Democrats control the Senate 53-47, and change the filibuster rules, and immediately pass voting reform, nationwide abortion rights, and real gun control, and then pass a flurry of bills covering all the things that have been lopped off of other bills in the past two years: insulin price caps, child care, health care workers, and on and on.)

My thanks to the Democrats who got it done.
posted by kristi at 3:10 PM on August 12 [5 favorites]


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