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On Sunday afternoon, President Joe Biden and his party took a big win when the Senate passed the $750 billion Democratic Health, Tax and Climate Act.
The bill, called the Inflation Reduction Act, represents the most significant climate investment in US history.
It adds significant changes to health policy, giving Medicare the power to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs, the first time in history to do so.
In addition, the bill extends the declining health allowance by three years.
The Inflation Reduction Act reduces the deficit, which must be paid for through new taxes, including a minimum 15% tax on large corporations and a 1% tax on share buybacks.
It also increases the collection capacity of Internal Revenue Services.
The bill will bring over $ 700 billion in government revenue over ten years.
It is also spending more than $ 430 billion to reduce carbon emissions and expand health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and use the remaining new revenue to reduce the deficit.
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The party’s final line vote was 51-50, overturned in favor of the bill when Vice President Kamala Harris broke the deadlock.
Senate Democrats have shown a united front to pass the legislation, using a single filibuster-proof process to pass the bill without Republican votes.
The final step came after a series of controversial amendments called “vote-a-rama” lasting nearly 16 hours, from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon.
How the bill was passed in a party line vote
Senate Democrats are hoping for an opportunity to sign a legislative package that could include key items on the party’s agenda.
However, they struggled for months to strike a deal that could gain the full support of their caucus.
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin was instrumental in shaping the legislation.
Things accelerated when he and Senate leader Chuck Schumer announced a deal in late July, a major step forward for the Democrats after early negotiations stalled.
On Thursday, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema offered critical support after leaders agreed to amend the new tax proposals.
The senators worked all weekend to make crucial changes to the bill.
To prevent the bill from collapsing at the last minute, the Democrats created a plan to take over Sinema, whose primary concern was the impact of the 15% corporation tax on private equity subsidiaries.
As a compromise, the Democrats in the Senate accepted a more limited tax proposal.
While the South Dakota Senate proposed GOP Whip John Thune to pay through an amendment to state and local tax deductions, it extended the cap on the amount of losses companies can deduct for another two years.
They made the amendment to ensure that Democrats in the Coastal District House didn’t break the bill.
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“I think we’ll all benefit from it; the country will,” Senator Joe Manchin said.
“We have energy security, that’s what we’re looking for. And we have the ability to invest in the energy of the future.”
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden praised the Senate for passing the bill.
In a statement he released, Biden thanked House Democrats and touted the legislation’s climate investments and health care. The statement reads:
“Today, Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
When the bill passed the Senate, Sinema released a statement saying it would “help Arizonans build better lives for themselves and their families by lowering prices, making health care more affordable and accessible, and securing Arizona’s water and energy future.”
Meanwhile, New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who was originally part of the “No SALT, no Deal” caucus, said the bill passed its test because it didn’t raise unemployment rates. taxation of individuals.
New Jersey Assemblyman Mikie Sherrill agreed with Gottheimer, saying:
“I will also remain steadfast in my commitment to ensuring that any discussion of reforms to the 2017 tax law begins with addressing SALT.”
“Because this legislation does not raise taxes on families in my district, but in fact significantly lowers their costs, I will be voting for it.”
Senate passes Democrats’ sweeping health care and climate bill