August 10, 2022
US Senate Democrats bill will mark climate, health care costs

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) holds his weekly news conference after the Democratic Caucus Party luncheon at the US Capitol on August 2, 2022 in Washington.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The $430 billion climate change, health care and tax bill passed Saturday by the US Senate provides a major victory for Democrats, and will help reduce the carbon emissions driving climate change while cutting costs for the elderly .

Democrats hope the bill, which they pushed through the Senate over a combined Republican opposition, will boost their chances in the November 8 midterm elections, when Republicans favor regaining a majority in at least one chamber of Congress. .

The package, called the Inflation Reduction Act, is a dramatically scaled-back version of an earlier bill backed by Democratic President Joe Biden that was described by maverick Senate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kirsten Cinema as too expensive.

“That’s what the American people want,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters. “We are prioritizing middle class, working families who are struggling to move into the middle class, rather than what Republicans do: prioritize those who are at the very top.”

The Senate’s partisan 51-50 vote, with a tiebreaking vote coming from Vice President Kamala Harris, sends legislation to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which is expected to pass Friday, after which Biden can sign it into law.

Republicans blasted the bill as a spending “wish list”, which they argued would hurt an inflation-hit economy, saying it would kill jobs, raise energy costs and undermine growth at such times. when the economy is facing a possible slowdown.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said Saturday, “Senate Democrats are misinterpreting the American people’s outrage as a mandate for another reckless tax and spending spree.” “Democrats want to wade through hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes and hundreds of billions of dollars in reckless spending — and for what?”

Nearly half of Americans – some 49% – support the bill, including 69% Democrats and 34% Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on August 3 and 4. The most popular element of the bill is paying Medicare. The power to negotiate drug prices, which is supported by 71% of respondents, including 68% of Republicans.

Economists, who say the legislation could help the Federal Reserve tackle inflation, do not expect a major impact on the economy in the coming months.

climate focus

drug cost

tax provision

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