Congress sends $740 billion tax, health and climate bill to Biden’s office
On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a $740 billion tax, health care and climate bill from Democrats, which is now going to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
Why is this important: The bill’s passage marks a major legislative victory for Democrats heading into the midterms and achieves several long-standing Liberal policy goals.
Driving the news: The bill passed 220-207 with all Republicans voting against.
Details: By far, the biggest spending provision in the bill is nearly $370 billion to fight climate change, including tax credits and funding for renewable energy, electric vehicles and retrofits. housing energy sources, as well as incentives for companies to reduce methane emissions. This too:
- Extends enhanced Affordable Care Act grants.
- Allows Medicare to negotiate prices for certain prescription drugs and forces drug companies to pay rebates to raise prices faster than inflation.
- Imposes a minimum tax of 15% on corporations with $1 billion or more in annual profits and a 1% fee on stock redemptions.
- Invests $80 billion in the Internal Revenue Service to combat tax evasion by the wealthy and corporations.
What they say : “This landmark [legislation] we’re sending to the president’s office is a resounding victory for American families from their kitchen tables,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said in a floor speech.
Swing-seat Democrats told Axios they believe the bill will give them a boost on the campaign trail.
- “The prescription drug portions, in particular, are really going to have an impact,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), adding that she has received nearly 1,000 calls over the past few days urging her to to vote yes for these provisions, “which is high for us.”
- But, Slotkin added, the bill won’t just sell: “We have to explain it because we live in a world where if you don’t send a message, someone else will in your name.”
- Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (DN.Y.) told Axios, “Results get results. … This is going to be a boost for Democrats around the world.
The other side: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) In a speech on the floor, called the legislation “the biggest tone-deaf bill I’ve seen in this chamber in 232 years.” .
- “They’re choosing to pass the session by spending half a trillion more of your money, raising taxes on the middle class, and handing out freebies to their liberal allies.”
The backdrop: The bill was introduced last month as a compromise between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.).
Yes, but: The bill falls far short of what most Democrats had hoped for when Biden took office last January.
- Democrats spent months last year pushing for a $3.5 trillion package that included paid family and medical leave, universal pre-K, tuition-free community college and extended credit child tax.
- This proposal was rejected by Manchin in December.