WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats give sweeping approval Laws on health care, climate and taxes Sunday, along with a party-line vote, provided a major victory for President Joe Biden and his agenda ahead of the midterm election.
Senate passed inflation reduction actwhich includes Record spending on clean energy initiatives, measures to reduce drug prices and a tax overhaul to ensure large corporations pay income taxes. Every Democrat voted in support and every Republican voted against the measure.
It goes to a vote in the Democratic-controlled House, where it is likely to be passed by Friday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., called the bill “the defining legislative achievement of the 21st century” and “the boldest climate package in American history” on the Senate floor ahead of the final vote.
“For those of you who have lost faith that Congress can do great things, this bill is for you,” he said.
After an overnight debate, amendment and negotiation, Vice President Kamala Harris cast a decisive vote in favor of the measure. 15 Hours of Vote-e-Ram Which began at 11:30 p.m., ended with Harris’s casting vote on the final route.
Bill – initially negotiated by Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. – Deals with long-standing liberal priorities. The White House’s lofty ambitions to expand the social safety net in last year’s Build Back Better bill were scuttled during a roller-coaster year of talks among Democrats.
“I ran for president promising to make government work for working families again, and that’s what the bill does,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House after the vote. “It required a lot of compromises. It’s almost always to do important things.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had a different view of the $739 billion package that would raise taxes on some corporations while reducing the deficit by about $100 billion over the next decade.
“Senate Democrats are misinterpreting the American people’s outrage as a mandate for another reckless tax and spending spree,” he said in a statement released Saturday. “Democrats have already robbed American families once through inflation, and now their solution is to rob American families a second time.”
The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of drugs long opposed by the pharmaceutical industry — and extend the Affordable Care Act subsidies for three more years, until 2025.
‘Inflation Reduction Act’:What you need to know about major efforts to fight climate change
To address climate change, the bill includes $10 billion in tax credits to build electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines; $7,500 tax credit exemption for consumers buying electric vehicles; and $9 billion for energy-efficient home retrofits for low-income Americans.
There’s up to $20 billion for loans to support electric vehicle plants, $20 billion to assist farmers and ranchers with climate change, and up to $30 billion for cities and states to move utilities to clean electricity.
To pay for these and other measures, the bill would establish a 15% corporate minimum tax and strengthen the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement.
About $ 739 billion will be raised from this bill. in tax revenue, more than offset $433 billion in proposed spending. Legislation will reduce the federal deficit $102 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The bill didn’t work: Republicans stripped the $35 monthly cap on insulin co-payments through amendments, arguing that the provision violated procedural rules. Seven Republicans sided with the Democrats and tried to keep the measure in place: Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, Lisa of Alaska. Murkowski and Dan Sullivan of Alaska.
Democrats lowered the cost of insulin through Medicare in the bill, as Republicans’ amendments targeted only caps on insulin co-pays for private insurers.
Negotiations for the law appeared dead on several occasions, only picking up in recent weeks and culminating in a surprise settlement by Schumer and Manchin last week.
Democrats garnered enough support to pass the bill in an evenly divided Senate when Sen. Kirsten Cinema, D-Ariz., said Thursday that she would vote for it after securing commitments on drought relief and tax changes.
In the midst of 40 years of high inflation, Democrats designed and touted the law as a way to reduce consumer costs, but economists disagree about how effective it would be in that regard.
University of Pennsylvania penn wharton budget model It predicted that the impact on inflation would be “statistically indistinguishable from zero” over the long term and that inflation would increase slightly before 2024.
Moody’s Analytics Analysis found that the legislation would “steer the economy and inflation in the right direction, while meaningfully addressing climate change and reducing the government’s budget deficit.”
Schumer called the bill “the most important bill ever to fight the climate crisis” in a press conference after the vote.
But he also said throughout the conversation that he told his caucus that he had to “ingest some bad stuff to get the good stuff,” such as allowing reforms backed by Manchin, which is seen as beneficial to the fossil fuel industry. .
And while the Inflation Reduction Act didn’t include many of Biden’s broad social programs that were proposed in his original Build Back Better plan, such as the child tax credit and family leave, Schumer said Senate Democrats were “with a vengeance in the fall.” Will return to those issues. ,