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A divided US Congress on Friday gave final approval to Democrats’ key climate and health care bill, handing President Joe Biden a back-to-the-dead victory over coveted priorities, with the party hopeful of its victory over Congress in November. Will strengthen their chances to keep hold. Election.
The House used a party-line 220-207 vote to pass the law, which is a shadow of a larger, more ambitious plan to supercharge environmental and social programs that Biden and his party envisioned early last year. Had it. Still, Democrats happily declared victory over top-level targets such as providing Congress with the largest ever investment in curbing carbon emissions, curbing pharmaceutical costs and taxing large companies, a vote that They believe they will show they can get achievements from a regularly stale Washington that often disillusioned voters.
“Today is a day of celebration, a day when we take another big step forward on our important agenda,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. She added that the measure “capitalizes that moment, ensuring that our families thrive and our planet survives.”
Republicans strongly opposed the law, calling it a cornucopia of useless liberal daydreams that would raise taxes and the cost of living for families. They did the same Sunday but Senate Democrats banded together and used Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote to measure through that 50-50 chamber.
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said, “Democrats, more than any other majority in history, are accustomed to spending other people’s money regardless of what we can do as a country.” “I can almost see the glee in their eyes.”
Biden’s initial 10-year, $3.5 trillion proposal also envisioned free preschool, paid family and medical leave, expanded Medicare benefits and easing immigration restrictions. Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. After it crashed, said it was too expensive, using the leverage of every Democrat in an equally divided Senate.
Nevertheless, the final law remained real. Its pillar is about $375 billion over 10 years to encourage industry and consumers to move from carbon-emitting to clean forms of energy. This includes $4 billion to tackle the devastating drought in the West.
Technologies such as spending, tax credits and loans solar panels, consumer efforts to improve home energy efficiency, emissions-reducing equipment for coal and gas-fired power plants, and air pollution control for farms, ports and low-income communities will promote.
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Another $64 billion will help 13 million people pay premiums for privately purchased health insurance over the next three years. Medicare will regain its cost-negotiating power for pharmaceuticals, initially for only 10 drugs in 2026. Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription costs will be limited to $2,000 starting in 2025, and no more than $35 monthly payments beginning next year for insulin, the expensive diabetes drug.
The bill would generate nearly $740 billion in revenue this decade, with more than a third coming from government savings from lower drug prices. Some $1 billion will flow more from higher taxes on corporations, levies on companies that repurchase their own stock and tightened IRS tax collections. About $300 billion will be left to cover the budget deficit, which is a fraction of the estimated total of $16 trillion for the period.
Against the backdrop of GOP attacks on the FBI for forcefully searching former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate court for sensitive documents, Republicans repeatedly promoted the bill in the IRS budget. It aims to collect an estimated $120 billion in unpaid taxes over the coming decade, and Republicans have misleadingly claimed that the IRS will hire 87,000 agents to target average households.
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Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga. Said Democrats would also “arm” the IRS with agents, “many of whom would be trained in the use of deadly force to go after any US citizen.” Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa asked on “Fox & Friends” Thursday if there would be an IRS “strike force that goes with a preloaded AK-15, ready to shoot some small business man.” “
Few IRS personnel are armed, and Democrats say the bill’s $80 billion, 10-year budget increase will be meant to replace waves of retirees, not just agents, and modernize equipment. He has said that typical households and small businesses will not be targeted, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen instructing the IRS this week not to “increase the share of small businesses or households below the $400,000 threshold” that will be audited. .
Republicans say the law’s new business tax will raise prices, worsening the country’s battle with the worst inflation since 1981. Although Democrats have labeled the Inflation Reduction Act measure, non-partisan analysts say it will have a barely perceptible effect on prices.
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The GOP also says that the bill will raise taxes on low- and middle-income households. An analysis by Congress’s nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which did not include the bill’s tax breaks for health care and energy, estimated that corporate tax increases would affect those taxpayers marginally, but indirectly, Because of low stock prices and wages.
The bill lasts three months in which Congress has approved legislation on veterans’ benefits, the semiconductor industry, gun tests for young buyers, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexing Sweden and Finland to NATO. All passed with bipartisan support, suggesting that Republicans may also want to display their productive side.
It’s unclear whether voters will reward Democrats for legislation after months of a stagnant history of Biden’s alarmingly low popularity with voters and the party that took over the White House. .
The bill had its roots in early 2021, after Congress approved a $1.9 trillion measure on GOP protests to counter the pandemic-induced economic slowdown. Encouraged, the new president and his party went further.
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He called his $3.5 trillion plan Build Back Better. In addition to social and environmental initiatives, it proposed rolling back Trump-era tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations and up to $555 billion for climate efforts, above resources in Friday’s legislation.
With Manchin opposing those amounts, it was cut as a nearly $2 trillion measure that Democrats moved through the House in November. He also unexpectedly thwarted that bill, earning disdain from fellow Democrats desperate on Capitol Hill and the White House.
Last-gasp talks between Munchkin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., seemed fruitless until a deal unexpectedly announced last month on the new package.
Manchin won billions for carbon capture technology for fossil fuel industries, as well as processes for drilling more oil on federal lands and promises to allow a faster energy project. Centrist Sen. Kirsten Sinema, D-Ariz. also won concessions, ended the high taxes employed on hedge fund managers and helped dry funds win.
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