Congress recognizes Democrats climate, health bill, Biden win

WASHINGTON — A split Congress on Friday finalized the Democratic Party’s flagship climate and health insurance bill, handing President Joe Biden a victory from the dead on a much-needed priority. Elections in November.

The House passed the bill in an intra-party vote of 220 to 207, a larger and more ambitious move to advance environmental and social programs envisioned by Biden and his party early last year. It’s just a shadow of the plan. Still, Democrats happily declared victory on top-level goals, including providing Congress with the biggest-ever investment in carbon emissions, drug costs, and taxing big business. Disillusioned voters.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said, “Today is a day of celebration and a day to take a big step forward on our important agenda.” ”

Republicans adamantly opposed the bill, calling it a trove of useless liberal fantasies that raise taxes and the cost of living for families. They went on the same Sunday, but Senate Democrats banded together and used Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie vote to push the bill through its 50-50 House.

“Democrats, more than any other majority in history, are preoccupied with spending other people’s money regardless of what the country can afford,” said California Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. rice field. “I can almost see the jubilation in their eyes.”

For Biden’s first decade, the $3.5 trillion proposal also envisioned free pre-kindergarten education, paid family leave, medical leave, expanded Medicare benefits, and relaxed immigration restrictions. It collapsed after centrist Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) said it would cost too much to use the power every Democrat has in an equally divided Senate .

Yet the final law remained substantive. Its pillar, worth about $375 billion over 10 years, encourages industry and consumers to move from carbon emissions to cleaner forms of energy. This includes his $4 billion to deal with devastating droughts in the West.

Spending, tax credits and loans will go toward solar panels, consumer initiatives to improve home energy efficiency, emission reduction equipment for coal and gas powered power plants, farms, ports and low-income communities. Strengthen technologies such as air pollution control.

An additional $64 billion could pay for 13 million people’s personally purchased health insurance premiums over the next three years. Medicare will initially have the power to negotiate drug costs for just 10 drugs by 2026. A Medicare beneficiary’s out-of-pocket prescription costs will be capped at $2,000 from 2025, and starting next year, he won’t be paying more than $35 a month for insulin, an expensive diabetes drug.

The bill would generate about $740 billion in revenue over 10 years, a third of which would come from government savings from falling drug prices. Higher taxes on companies worth about $1 billion, levies on companies that buy back their own shares, and increased tax collection by the IRS will bring in more money. About $300 billion would remain to fund the budget deficit, a tiny fraction of the projected total of $16 trillion for the period.

Against the backdrop of Republican attacks on the FBI’s court search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate for classified documents, Republicans have repeatedly lashed out at the bill’s boost to the IRS budget. It aims to collect an estimated $120 billion in unpaid taxes over the next decade, and a Republican mistakenly believes he will hire 87,000 agents to help the IRS target the average family. I am making an appealing claim.

Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde said Democrats would “weaponize” the IRS with agents. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Thursday on “Fox and Friends” if the IRS had “a strike force with AK-15s ready to shoot Small his business person.” rice field.

IRS personnel are largely unarmed, and Democrats say the bill’s $80 billion 10-year budget increase is to replace not only agents but a wave of retirees and modernize equipment. I’m here. They say typical families and small businesses won’t be targeted, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the IRS this week that it would not increase the proportion of small businesses and households below the $400,000 threshold that would be audited. ‘ instructed.

Republicans say the bill’s new business tax will raise prices, exacerbating the situation in the country with the worst inflation since 1981.

Republicans also say the bill would raise taxes for low- and middle-income earners. An analysis by Congress’s bipartisan Joint Taxation Committee did not include the bill’s tax cuts for health care and energy, but while a corporate tax hike would have a minor impact on those taxpayers, stocks and wages would fall. is estimated to be indirectly affected by the decline in

The bill caps three months in which Congress approved laws on veterans’ welfare, the semiconductor industry, gun checks for young buyers, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the addition of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Both were passed with bipartisan support, suggesting that Republicans also want to show their productive side.

Painfully high inflation dominated voter attention, and after a steady history of midterm elections that saw Biden’s dangerously low public popularity and the party holding the White House, voters turned to the Democrats. It is unclear whether the bill will be rewarded.

The bill had its roots in early 2021, after Congress approved a $1.9 trillion measure against Republican opponents to combat a pandemic-induced recession. Triumphantly, the new president and his party went further.

They called their $3.5 trillion plan Build Back Better. In addition to social and environmental initiatives, he proposed Trump-era tax cuts for the rich and corporations and unwinding $555 billion in tackling climate change. This far exceeds the resources of Friday Law.

Manchin’s opposition to those amounts split the bill Democrats passed the House of Representatives in November into about $2 trillion. He unexpectedly sunk that bill as well, drawing contempt from outraged fellow Democrats in the Capitol and the White House.

A final gasp talk between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) seemed fruitless until the two unexpectedly announced an agreement on a new package last month. rice field.

In addition to winning billions of dollars for the fossil-fuel industry’s carbon capture technology he champions, Manchin promised to process more oil drilling on state land and permit faster energy projects. Centrist Senator Kirsten Cinema (D-Arizona) also won a concession, scrapping plans to raise taxes on hedge fund managers and helping win the Drought Fund.

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