Democrats pass key health, climate and tax bills along the party line; Biden to sign next week – ABC News | Vette Leader

Every House Democrat on Friday voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) against a unified Republican opposition and sent the multibillion-dollar climate, health and tax bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to enact.

The package, which also passed the Senate along party lines on Sunday, was passed by a vote of 220 to 207 around 6 p.m.

Democrats in the chamber celebrated what they will no doubt endorse as a legislative achievement — designed to make prescription drugs and health insurance cheaper while raising taxes on the wealthy, reducing the deficit, investing in clean energy and the curbing climate change – ahead of a contentious mid-term cycle when faced with the president’s low approval ratings and other headwinds.

Biden soon tweeted his reaction to passage through the House of Representatives: “Today the American people won. Special interests lost.”

“With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the House of Representatives, families will see lower prescription drug prices, lower health care costs and lower energy costs,” he wrote, saying he plans to sign the law into law next week.

The party’s total unity in both chambers is a major achievement for the Democratic leadership, which has been struggling for months to unite the faction around a coherent strategy. The party has attempted since Biden took office in January 2021 to pass a welfare spending bill that eventually became the IRA, a heavily stripped-down version of the multi-trillion-dollar plan that Biden first backed.

The more than $700 billion package includes the country’s largest investments in new climate initiatives; allows Medicare to negotiate some drug prices; and expands Affordable Care Act subsidies while reducing the federal deficit with a 15% minimum corporate tax and an excise tax on corporate stock buybacks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill August 12, 2022 in Washington, DC

Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Despite the law’s name, Republicans say it will have a negligible effect on inflation in the short term, the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office said.

But the CBO said it would reduce federal budget deficits by $102 billion over 10 years.

At a press conference ahead of the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked if the bill would actually be able to tame high – but slightly cooling – inflation over the next few months.

“Well, you have to start,” Pelosi said, noting that inflation is being caused by many factors, such as the COVID-19 supply chain crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called the bill “misguided” and “unmusical” on Friday. He spoke on the House floor about 50 minutes before the vote, mostly blasting the widespread use of proxies to pass the bill and the IRA’s increased IRS tax enforcement actions, which proponents say are actually on targeting the rich shelling their tax bills.

“More than any majority in history, Democrats are addicted to spending other people’s money,” McCarthy said.

More than half of the House of Representatives voted by proxy, which extended passage of the bill by designating a designated member to vote in person on behalf of absent lawmakers.

The IRA passed the Senate on Sunday without a single Republican supporter. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the crucial vote after a 16-hour “vote-a-rama” that saw a slew of proposed amendments presented by both parties – and forced Senate Democrats to make last-minute adjustments to the bill’s tax provisions to do.

PHOTO: The exterior of the White House from the North Lawn, August 7, 2022, in Washington, DC

The exterior of the White House from the North Lawn, August 7, 2022, in Washington, DC

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the IRA “one of the most comprehensive and significant acts the Senate and Congress have passed in decades.”

“While much of DC was focused on the Senate vote earlier this week, the White House was just as focused on the House at the same time,” a White House official told ABC News, noting that the administration is with the leadership of the house have been in touch all week long.

The staff also spoke to individual members about the legislation, answered any questions and sent materials on a daily basis, the official said.

From his summer vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, Biden videoconferenced twice with his staffers working on the IRA, according to the White House.

“The President has been calling members of the House of Representatives all week; We had members at the signing of the CHIP and PACT Acts, which was another opportunity for POTUS to engage with members of the IRA,” the official said, which Republicans denied.”

ABC News’ Justin Gomez, Molly Nagle, and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

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