The Senate passed the Democrats’ sweeping climate, health care and tax bills, giving Biden a victory

The Senate passed the Democrats' sweeping climate, health care and tax bills, giving Biden a victory
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Washington – On Sunday, the Senate passed a vote of Democrats economic package designed to fight climate change, address health care costs and raise taxes on big corporations, an important achievement for President Biden and his party as they seek to maintain control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.

The plan, called the Inflation Reduction Act, cleared the upper chamber by a 51-50 vote along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a tie in the evenly divided Senate. Democrats have enjoyed a speedy legislative process as measured against Republican opposition.

“It’s been a long, hard and winding road, but we’re finally here,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in remarks on the Senate floor as members prepared to vote on the final passage. “Today, after more than a year of hard work, the Senate is making history. I am confident that the Inflation Reduction Act will go down as one of the defining legislative achievements of the 21st century.”

The vote came after a marathon session that lasted overnight into Sunday afternoon, with Democrats cheering as members cast their final votes. In a process known as the “Rama vote,” Republicans proposed a series of amendments that Democrats successfully defeated in nearly 16 hours of debate.

GOP senators managed to block a provision that would have limited the price of insulin $35 per month for those covered under private health plans. Democrats needed 60 votes to waive the reconciliation rules and keep that part of the bill, but it failed 57 to 43, with seven Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the measure.

House Democratic leaders announced last week that the lower chamber will return from a month-long recess on Friday to pass the bill, which is expected to pass.

Mr. Biden praised Senate Democrats for passing the plan, admitting it required “a lot of compromises.” He urged the House to quickly approve the bill.

“Today, Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voted to lower prescription drug, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while finally making the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” the president said. statement. “I ran for president promising to make government work for working families again, and that’s what this bill is — period.”

The package is the culmination of months of negotiations over Mr. Pavel. Biden’s domestic policy agenda, which at times appeared to be on life support, was revived late last month. surprise announcement Agreement between Sumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 6: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) talks smart
Sen. Joe Manchin talks to his staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in August. 6, 2022.

Shuran Huang for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Although the legislation is narrower than the $3.5 trillion proposal put forward by Mr. Biden won the support of Manchin and Sen last year for a tailored package. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona support was important.

Still, Democrats are hailing the plan as an answer to rising consumer prices and an investment of nearly $400 billion to fight climate change. The package allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, a key Democratic priority expected to save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. It also extends enhanced health insurance subsidies that expire at the end of the year and imposes a minimum tax of 15% on most corporations that make more than $1 billion annually.

The corporate tax provision emerged as a point of contention as senators neared a final vote on Sunday. Seven Democratic senators — Sinema, John Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, Catherine Cortez Masto, Maggie Hassan, Mark Kelly and Jacky Rosen — joined Republicans in supporting the amendment, which was introduced by GOP Sen. John Thune of South Dakota exempts some private equity-backed firms from the 15% minimum corporate tax rate. That amendment passed 57 to 43.

To boost clean energy, the measure includes tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles and the production of solar panels and wind turbines. It also offers rebates to consumers who buy energy-efficient appliances and provides $4 billion for drought relief.

Schumer praised the bill as the “boldest climate package” in US history, calling it a “game changer” and a “tipping point”.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.

Part of the Democrats’ drug pricing plan was to impose fines on drugmakers who set prices at private insurers out of line with inflation. removed After being reviewed by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough. However, his approval of the rest of the package cleared the way for the upper house to move forward with consideration of the bill.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the legislation would reduce the deficit by $102 billion over the next 10 years. Republicans argue that the plan will have little effect on inflation and will instead raise taxes and lead to job losses.

one Interview with “Face the Nation”. Sen. on Sunday Florida Republican Rick Scott argued that the Democrats’ drug pricing plan would hurt seniors, while the tax component would raise taxes for Americans.

“Why are you raising government spending? We’re raising taxes,” he said.

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