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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics improved their backcourt depth Friday by acquiring combo guard Malcolm Brogdon in a muitl-player trade with the Indiana Pacers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Indiana receives five players, all backup forwards with Boston, and a 2023 first-round draft pick, according to the person who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot officially be announced until next week.

Brogdon’s fate with Indiana was essentially sealed when the Pacers acquired point guard Tyrese Haliburton from Sacramento in a flurry of moves at the midseason trade deadline. It was clear the franchise would rebuild the team with Haliburton as the foundational piece.

Many expected Brogdon would be dealt on draft night, but Boston finally provided the offer Indiana was seeking on the second day of free agency.

The Pacers receive Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and Nic Stauskas — both first-round picks — Juwan Morgan and Malik Fitts. Aside from adding Theis’ physical presence, the Pacers could now have three first-round picks in 2023 and enough cap room to give them an additional $31 million to spend.

In Brogdon, the Celtics are getting a proven leader who averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds last season. And he should fit right in with a backcourt that already features Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Derrick White, who played a key role in Boston’s run to its first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. The Celtics lost to Golden State in six games.


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Democrats clear first hurdle on healthcare, tax and climate bill

Jennifer Haberkorn

Senate Democrats on Saturday advanced their long-delayed healthcare, tax and climate bill following months of back-and-forth on whether the party would be able to pass major legislation addressing some of their progressive priorities before the midterm election.

The Senate voted along party lines, 50 to 50, to start debate on the measure, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

Democrats are passing the bill using a special parliamentary procedure called reconciliation, which doesn’t allow for a Republican filibuster.

Democrats, eager to promote the bill’s benefits on the campaign trail this fall, lauded it as historic.

“This is one of the most comprehensive and impactful bills Congress has seen in decades,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). “It will reduce inflation. It will lower prescription drug costs. It will fight climate change. It will close tax loopholes and it will reduce the deficit. It will help every citizen in this country and make America a much better place.”

The bill would allow the federal government to begin to negotiate drug prices for Medicare — albeit slowly— and would create incentives and grants to combat the climate crisis, two major political priorities that Democrats are hoping to run on this fall.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which issues cost estimates on legislation, said Saturday it was still working on one due to last-minute changes. An analysis of an earlier version of the bill found it would decrease the deficit by $102 billion over a decade.

For congressional Democrats and President Biden, it would mark a welcome legislative bright spot.

Democrats have been scrambling in recent days to tie up the negotiations — work that continued into Saturday.

Because Democrats are enacting the bill through reconciliation, it has to be reviewed by a nonpartisan Senate official to confirm all elements of the legislation comply with Senate rules. That process has been underway for days and was largely done by midday Saturday.

While Democrats were able to keep most of their bill intact through that process, they had to change the way a cap on rising drug prices will be calculated. It is also unclear whether a $35 cap on patient copayments for insulin will make it through the process.

After Saturday’s vote, lawmakers were expected to begin a lengthy series of votes on amendments to the bill — a process dubbed vote-a-rama. Under the reconciliation process, the minority party can offer unlimited amendments, and it typically takes the opportunity to propose politically contentious ideas designed to block a measure, or at least force the majority to take politically unfavorable votes.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the process would be “like hell,” and that Democrats “deserve this.”

“I’m hoping that we can come up with proposals that will make sense to a few of them and they’ll abandon this jihad they’re on,” he said Friday.

Republicans argue the bill will make inflation worse.

“Democrats want to run through hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes and hundreds of billions of dollars in reckless spending,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Saturday.

The CBO estimated the bill would have a “negligible” impact on inflation this year. Democrats have cited other economic experts who say it will reduce inflation.

“This is fighting inflation,” Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said last weekend while promoting the bill on “Face the Nation.” “This is all about the absolute horrible position that people are in now because of the inflation costs, whether it be gasoline, whether it be food pricing, whether it be energy pricing — and it’s around energy, mostly, that’s driving [this] high inflation.”

If Senate Democrats are able to stick together through the amendment process, they hope to give final passage to the bill as soon as Sunday morning.

House leaders plan to bring members of their chamber back to Washington on Friday to vote on the bill. If approved, it will go to Biden’s desk for his signature.

Declared dead several times over the last year, the Democrats’ sweeping legislation was resurrected after secret talks between Schumer and Manchin, the most conservative Senate Democrat.

The bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, is much smaller than Democrats’ original $3.5-trillion “Build Back Better” plan, which contained a slew of progressive policies such as universal prekindergarten and child care that Manchin said in December he would not support.

Once Manchin and Schumer cut a deal on a plan, attention turned to another frequent outlier in the Democratic ranks, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

To win her vote, Schumer agreed to drop the bill’s tightening of a “carried interest” tax loophole that benefits high-income investors, and to add $4 billion to combat drought in the West.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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