Democrats pushed their election-year economic package to pass the Senate, a tough compromise that’s less ambitious than President Joe Biden’s original vision – but still meets far-reaching goals. The party’s agenda is to slow climate change, moderate drug costs, and tax big corporations.
Sunday’s package will approach the House of Representatives, where lawmakers are getting ready to work on Biden’s priorities, a stunning turnaround of what seemed like a failed effort and ended abruptly. sudden return to political life. The United Democrats, 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris voted inconclusively.
“It’s been a long, difficult, and winding road, but in the end, we’ve finally arrived,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of the final votes.
“The Senate is making history. I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will survive as one of the defining legislative measures of the 21st century.”
The senators took part in a round-the-clock voting marathon that began Saturday and ran into late Sunday. Democrats have repealed about three dozen Republican amendments designed to destroy the law.
Facing unanimous opposition, Democrats united in the 50-50 chamber held, keeping the party on track to achieve a morale-boosting victory three months from the election when control of Congress is under threat.
“I think it will pass,” Biden told reporters as he left the White House early Sunday morning for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, ending his COVID-19 isolation.
The House looks set to provide final approval from Congress when it returns shortly after the US summer break on Friday.
The bill, which ran into trouble at midday over opposition to a new 15% minimum tax rate that private equity firms and other industries disliked, was forced to change it at the last minute.
Despite the temporary setback, the Inflation Reduction Act gives Democrats a campaign-season referral program to act on coveted goals.
It includes the largest-ever federal effort on climate change – nearly $400 billion – limits Medicare out-of-pocket drug costs to seniors to $2,000 a year and expands expiring benefits to help 13 million people afford coverage medical. By increasing the corporate tax, the entire product package is paid about $300 billion more in revenue to reduce the deficit.
Just over a tenth the size of a 10-year rainbow of progress, Biden’s original $3.5 trillion in his Build Back Better initiative, the new package waives previous proposals for preschool universalization, paid leave and expanded childcare aid. That plan fell apart after conservative Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, opposed it, saying it was too costly and would lead to inflation.
Nonpartisan analysts say the Inflation Reduction Act will have a small impact on rising consumer prices.
Republicans said the measure would weaken an economy that policymakers are struggling to keep from a severe slump. Depression. They say the bill’s business tax will affect job creation and forcing prices to skyrocket, making it hard for people to deal with the worst of the nation’s situation inflationary since the 1980s.
“Democrats robbed American families once due to inflation, and now their solution is to rob American families a second time,” argued Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
He said spending and tax increases in the law would eliminate jobs while having a negligible effect on inflation and climate change.
In a challenge imposed on all budget bills like this one, the Senate endured an overnight “vote” of swift amendments. Each Democrat was tested together for a compromise negotiated by Schumer, the Radicals, Manchin, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist Democrat. .
Sinema forced Democrats to abandon a plan to stop wealthy hedge fund managers from paying less than the personal income tax rate on their earnings.
Radical Senator Bernie Sanders proposed amendments to further expand the law’s health benefits, but those efforts were defeated. Most of the votes were coerced by Republicans, and many were designed to make Democrats appear soft on the US-Mexico border security and fuel and energy costs, and like bullies who want to strengthen IRS tax law enforcement.
The thrust of pharmaceutical price language remains. That includes allowing Medicare to negotiate what it pays for drugs to 64 million elderly recipients, penalizing manufacturers for excess inflation on drugs sold to Medicare, and limiting the cost of natural drugs. pay the beneficiary at the rate of $2,000 per year.
The final cost of the measure has been recalculated to reflect the late changes, but overall it will increase by more than $700 billion over a decade. The money will come from a minimum tax of 15% on a small number of companies with annual profits above $1 billion, a 1% tax on companies that buy back their own shares, enhanced revenue IRS taxes and government savings from lower drug costs.