House of Representatives to vote Friday to pass Democrats’ sweeping health and climate bill – CNN | Vette Leader

Once the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approves the bill, it would next go to Biden to enact it.

The final passage of the bill would give Democrats a chance to achieve important policy goals ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, at a critical time when the party is struggling to retain control of its slim majorities in Congress.

The sweeping legislation — dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act — would represent the largest climate investment in U.S. history and bring about major changes in healthcare policy, giving Medicare the power to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs for the first time and extending the expiring healthcare grant for three years. The legislation would reduce the deficit, be paid by new taxes — including a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and a 1% tax on share buybacks — and strengthen the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to collect.

It would collect over $700 billion in government revenue over 10 years and spend over $430 billion to reduce carbon emissions and extend health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and the rest of the new revenue used to reduce the deficit.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised to get the bill through the House of Representatives in a recent letter to Democratic colleagues.

“On Friday, House Democrats will pass the landmark anti-inflation bill and send it to the President,” Pelosi wrote. “This life-changing legislation increases the leverage of the popular interest over the special interest.”

House must act after Senate Democrats pass the bill

The House of Representatives is taking on the legislation after it passed after a marathon overnight session with contentious amendment votes in the Senate.

The Senate passed the bill 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

Senate Democrats, who control just a slim 50-seat majority, eventually remained closed to pass the bill. And they used a special, filibuster-proof process known as a reconciliation to approve the measure with no Republican votes.

Approval of the bill in the chamber was a major milestone for Senate Democrats, who had long hoped to pass a signed bill but struggled for months to reach an agreement that had the full support of their caucus.

Senator Joe Manchin played a key role in shaping the legislation — which only moved forward after Democrat and West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a deal in late July, a major breakthrough for Democrats after previous negotiations stalled were advised.
Democratic Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was also at the center of efforts to pass the law — and Sinema, Manchin and other senators worked all weekend to make changes to the law.

The passage in the Senate came after a long series of amendment votes known as “vote-a-rama,” which lasted nearly 16 hours from late Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.

Republicans used the “vote-a-rama” weekend to embarrass the Democrats and force politically tough votes. They were also successful in overturning a key provision capping the price of insulin at $35 per month in the private insurance market, which the Senateman said was inconsistent with Senate voting rules. The $35 insulin cap for Medicare beneficiaries remains in place.

In the end, Republicans opposed the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that the bill included “huge job-killing tax increases” and amounted to “a war on American fossil fuels.” The Republican from Kentucky said Democrats “didn’t care about the priorities of middle-class families.”

How the draft law addresses the climate crisis

While economists argue about whether the package will actually live up to its name and lower inflation, especially in the short term, the law would have a crucial impact on reducing carbon emissions.

The nearly $370 billion clean energy and climate package is the largest climate investment in U.S. history and the biggest victory for the environmental movement since the landmark Clean Air Act.

Analysis by Schumer’s office — as well as several independent analyzes — suggests the measure would reduce U.S. carbon emissions by up to 40% by 2030. Tough climate legislation from the Biden administration and action by states would be needed to meet Biden’s goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.

The bill also includes many tax incentives designed to reduce electricity costs through more renewable energy and encourage more American consumers to switch to electricity to power their homes and vehicles.

Key health care and tax policies in the bill

The bill would authorize Medicare to negotiate prices for certain expensive drugs administered in doctor’s offices or purchased at pharmacies. The Minister of Health would negotiate prices for 10 drugs in 2026 and for another 15 drugs in 2027 and again in 2028. The number would rise to 20 drugs per year for 2029 and beyond.

The controversial provision is far more limited than those that House Democrat leaders have supported in the past. But it would open the door to achieving a long-standing party goal of allowing Medicare to use its weight to lower drug costs.

Democrats also plan to extend improved federal premium subsidies for Obamacare coverage through 2025, a year later than lawmakers recently debated. That way they wouldn’t be phased out shortly after the 2024 presidential election.

To boost revenue, unlike the Internal Revenue Service, the bill would impose a minimum 15% tax on income that large corporations report to shareholders, known as book income. The measure, which would raise $258 billion over a decade, would apply to companies with profits over $1 billion.

Concerned about how this provision would affect certain companies, particularly manufacturers, Sinema has suggested she push through changes to the Democrats’ plan to reduce how companies can deduct depreciated assets from their taxes. The details remain unclear.

However, Sinema thwarted her party’s efforts to close the carried interest loophole, which allows investment managers to treat much of their compensation as capital gains and pay a long-term capital gains tax rate of 20% instead of income tax rates of up to 37%.

The provision would have increased the length of time that investment managers’ earnings shares must be held from three to five years in order to benefit from the lower tax rate. Closing this loophole, which would have brought in $14 billion in a decade, had been a longtime goal of Congressional Democrats.

In its place was a 1% consumption tax on corporate stock buybacks, raising an additional $74 billion, according to a Democratic advisor.

CNN’s Alex Rogers, Ella Nilsen, Tami Luhby, Katie Lobosco and Matt Egan contributed to this report.

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