WASHINGTON – A divided Congress gave final approval on Friday to Democrats’ top climate and health care billdeliver President Joe Biden a victory back from the dead over coveted priorities that the party hopes will bolster its prospects of holding Congressional office in the November elections.
The House of Representatives used a partisan 220-207 vote to pass the legislation, which is only a shadow of a larger, more ambitious plan to enhance the environment and social programs that Biden said. and his party envisioned early last year. Even so, Democrats happily declared victory over top goals like providing Congress’s largest-ever investment to curb carbon. emissionscontrol drug costs and tax big companies, a vote they believe will show they can gain ground from a frequently stalemate Washington that often disappoints voters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, said: “Today is a day of celebration, a day when we take another important step on our important agenda.” She said the measure “meets the moment, ensuring that our families thrive and our planet survive.”
Republicans staunchly oppose the legislation, calling it an illusion of wasted liberal dreams that would raise taxes and the cost of living for families. They did the same Sunday but the Senate Democrats got together and used Vice President Kamala Harris’ breakthrough vote to provide power for the measure through that 50-50 chamber.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif, said: “The Democrats, more than any other majority in history, are addicted to spending other people’s money, regardless of what we are a part of. country can buy”. “I can almost see the joy in their eyes.”
Biden’s original 10-year $3.5 trillion proposal also envisions free kindergarten, paid medical and family leave, expanding Medicare benefits and easing restrictions immigration. That was dropped after centrist Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., said it was too costly, using the leverage that every Democrat in the Senate has divided equally.
However, the final law remains substantive. Its mainstay is about $375 billion over 10 years to incentivize industry and consumers to switch from carbon emissions to cleaner forms of energy. That figure includes $4 billion to deal with the catastrophic drought of the West.
Spending, tax credits and loans will boost technology like solar panels, consumer efforts to improve home energy efficiency, emissions-reducing equipment for power plants that run coal and gas as well as air pollution control for farms, ports and low-income communities.
Another $64 billion will help 13 million people pay premiums over the next three years for privately purchased health insurance. Medicare will have the power to negotiate its drug costs, initially in 2026 with only 10 drugs. Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription costs will be capped at $2,000 starting in 2025, and starting next year will pay no more than $35 monthly for insulin, the diabetes drug. expensive.
The bill will increase by about dollar740 billions in revenue over the decade, more than a third from government savings from lowering drug prices. More will flow from higher taxes on some $1 billion corporations, hitting companies that buy back their own stock and collecting stronger IRS taxes. About $300 billion will remain to cover the budget deficit, a fraction of the total $16 trillion projected for the period.
In the wake of GOP attacks on the FBI to search for sensitive Florida court documents of former President Donald Trump in search of sensitive documents, Republicans repeatedly sabotage the project. legislation to increase the budget for the IRS. That aims to collect an estimated $120 billion in unpaid taxes over the next decade, and Republicans have erroneously declared that the IRS will hire 87,000 agents to target the average family.
Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., said Democrats will also “weaponize” the IRS with agents, “many of whom will be trained in the use of deadly force, to track down” the IRS. search for any American citizen.” Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Thursday on “Fox and Friends” if there’s an IRS force “attacking with preloaded AK-15s, ready to shoot some small businessmen.” .”