In a party-line vote on Sunday, the Senate passed a far-reaching $430 billion bill aimed at lowering health care costs, raising taxes on corporations and combating climate change.
The bill, called the Inflation Reduction Act, includes an unprecedented $375 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below their 2005 levels by 2030. The bill represents the biggest investment in clean energy sources in U.S. history.
“This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed in a decade,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told The Washington Post, before the bill’s passage in the Senate. “Things that Americans have longed for and couldn’t get done.”
No Republican voted for the bill. The measure passed on a 51-50 vote with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.
“Their response to the runaway inflation they’ve created is a bill that experts say will not meaningfully cut inflation at all,” Senate Minority Leader Mitchell McConnell, R-Ky., said.
“The American people are clear about their priorities. Environmental regulation is a 3% issue. Americans want solutions for inflation, crime and the border.”
McConnell said the bill included “giant job-killing tax hikes” and amounted to “a war on American fossil fuel.” The Kentucky Republican said Democrats “do not care about middle-class families’ priorities.”
The 755-page bill will now move to the House for a vote there.
Here are some of the measures in the bill:
Climate change: The bill includes $260 billion in tax credits for renewable energy, a move that will lower the cost of clean power sources such as solar and wind.
In addition, the bill includes money for:
· Clean-energy tax credits.
· Rebates for electric vehicles, green energy at home and other climate-friendly measures.
· Rewards for cutting methane emissions.
· A “green bank” — a financial institution that works to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies.
· New rules around federal land sales that may lead to oil drilling.
Taxes: The bill includes a 15% minimum tax on megacorporations and introduces a 1% excise tax on the buyback of shares. Money will also go into hiring Internal Revenue Service agents to increase tax collection efforts. According to the legislation, the enhanced efforts of the IRS will raise more than $700 billion in government revenue over a decade.
Health care: The bill includes changes that are meant to lower drug prices. One of the major points in the legislation allows Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over some prescription drug prices. The bill would also extend the enhanced federal premium subsidies for Obamacare coverage through 2025.
Democrats could not get enough votes needed to keep a provision to cap insulin costs at $35 a month on the private health insurance market. The legislation would still limit insulin costs for those on Medicare.
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