High-level Democratic talks with Manchin were so secretive that even Chuck Schumer's No. 2 deputy said he was surprised by the deal

·2 min read
Joe Manchin
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia.Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Senate Democrats struck a $700 billion deal for an economic and climate package.

  • Joe Manchin announced that he and Chuck Schumer had agreed on terms after months of negotiations.

  • The negotiations were so secret that even Schumer's deputy was surprised by the news.

Details around the economic deal agreed upon by Senate Democrats were kept under such a tight seal that even high-level Democrats involved at different points during the negotiations were anxious to find out details of the agreement.

On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had reached a deal on The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a funding package that could dole out $700 billion to climate, tax, and healthcare improvements.

Some in the Senate close to the negotiators were shocked that a deal was struck during an arduous, at times seemingly dead, negotiation process with a mostly immovable Manchin.

The Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who is Schumer's deputy, told Punchbowl News that the deal was "news to me."

"I'm anxious to know the details," Durbin said.

The deal was struck after Manchin indicated earlier this month he would not support new climate spending or tax hikes, all but tanking the Democrats' plans. But Manchin and Schumer quietly continued talks, finally striking an agreement on Wednesday, according to Politico.

Even Manchin said he was unsure before Wednesday if the bill would ultimately pan out.

"I didn't know if it could come to fruition. I really didn't know, OK, so why talk about something, again, build people's hopes up? I got the ire of everybody," Manchin said on why the talks were kept quiet, according to Politico.

The West Virginia Democrat said that because he and Schumer negotiated behind the scenes, there was "no pressure."

"The easiest thing for me to do is walk away and do nothing," Manchin said, according to the outlet. "That was not the case, because it was not the right thing."

Read the original article on Business Insider