A Dancing Yak vote bag is seen outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on August 6. The House is expected to pass the Inflation Reduction Act in Congress on Friday and sent the sweeping legislative package to President Joe Biden’s desk. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 12 (UPI) — The House is expected to pass the Democrat-led Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, almost a week after the Senate narrowly approved the sweeping legislation that aims to invest billions in climate change, tax and other economy-oriented efforts.
The House is planning to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. If passed, it would go to President Joe Biden‘s desk for his signature Friday.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed by a vote of 51-50 in the Senate on Sunday after moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Sinema of Arizona both decided to support it. No Senate Republicans voted for the bill. Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as Senate president, cast the tie-breaking vote.
The $740 billion package would be the United States’ largest-ever investment in climate and energy programs, and would be paid for with new taxes, mostly on corporations and the wealthy. The bill would also for the first time allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and keep healthcare subsidies from expiring for three years.
The bill, which is a pared-down version of Biden’s initial $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package that the president was forced to whittle down, survived months of shaky negotiations. Manchin helped mold the newer bill that also targets $300 billion in deficit reduction.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, if passed by the House, would go to President Joe Biden’s desk on Friday. As the Bidens are in South Carolina on vacation, it’s unclear when the president could sign the bill. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI
The Senate was able to pass the bill with a simple majority through budget reconciliation, a process that allows fiscal-related legislation to avoid a filibuster.
Barring any last-minute surprises, the bill was all but certain to pass on Friday — probably along a razor-thin party line — and deliver a huge win for Democrats just months ahead of the November midterm elections.
“This life-changing legislation increases the leverage of the people’s interest over the special interest,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House members in a memo, according to NBC News. “This bill makes a tremendous difference at the kitchen table of America’s families.”
Pelosi discussed four primary aspects of the bill, including deficit reduction, giving Medicare a say on drug prices, funding the Affordable Care Act for another three years, plus the climate and energy measures.
The bill, which puts focus on more frequent natural disasters and increasing global warming, would provide federal dollars to companies that invest in solar and wind power and help transition the U.S. away from fossil fuels. It also lays out a reduction in greenhouse gases in the United States by 40% by the end of the 2020s.
House lawmakers will take a vote Friday to debate the legislation, which is expected to last about three hours before the final vote. Republicans could try to delay the proceedings during their debate time, however no such plan has been announced.
If the bill passes on Friday, it’s unclear exactly when Biden could sign it. He and first lady Jill Biden are in South Carolina on a week-long vacation.
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