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Senate Passes Landmark Climate, Tax, and Healthcare Legislation

Senate Passes Landmark Climate, Tax, and Healthcare Legislation

Senate Democrats passed a $700 billion-plus climate and economic bill by the skin of their teeth Sunday. The vote fell along party lines, with every Democrat in favor of the legislation and all Republicans opposed. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote to make it 51-50 and push the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) through, according to NBC News.

“After more than a year of hard work, the Senate is making history. I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative feats of the 21st century,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor before the vote.

Democrats worked to stave off revision attempts from their Republican colleagues who disapproved of the medicine pricing reforms included in the legislation, and broadly objected to the billions in planned spending. Discussions continued for more than 15 hours during an amendment period of the overnight session, according to Politico, and at the eleventh-hour, senators agreed to make changes to the bill’s corporate minimum tax provisions.

Congress is scheduled to vote on the legislation this Friday when it reconvenes after the House’s summer recess. If the IRA passes there, which it is expected to, the bill will head to the White House for President Biden’s signature.

“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. I ran for President promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does — period,” Biden said in a statement.

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