What is the Inflation Reduction Act Biden Just Signed – NPR | Vette Leader

President Biden presents Senator Joe Manchin with a pen during the Inflation Reduction Act signing ceremony. Manchin was a key holdout during the negotiations and insisted on a lower spending bill.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden presents Senator Joe Manchin with a pen during the Inflation Reduction Act signing ceremony. Manchin was a key holdout during the negotiations and insisted on a lower spending bill.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden signed Democrats’ signature spending bill Tuesday, a key legislative victory that underscores a number of bipartisan legislative gains that Democrats hope to capitalize on ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

“The American people won and the special interests lost,” Biden said, noting that drug companies had opposed measures to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare patients.

“Every single Republican in Congress sided with the special interest side of this vote,” Biden said. “That is the choice we face: we can protect those already powerful or show the courage to build the future where everyone has an equal opportunity.”

This law has been in the works for a year. After West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin called off earlier talks citing concerns about approving higher spending amid record inflation, Democrats struggled to find a way forward.

But fortunes changed in July when Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., reached an agreement. After a marathon vote, the Senate passed the bill through the budget voting process, with all Democrats voting in favor and a casting vote from Vice President Harris. No Republican voted for the law.

Manchin took a seat on the podium for the bill signing and received applause during Biden’s remarks, when the president quipped with a wink, “Joe — I never had any doubts.”

Biden interrupted his vacation to sign the law into law, although the signing ceremony itself was small since Congress is not in session and most members are out of town. The White House plans to hold a bigger celebration on September 6 — part of a plan to promote the law ahead of November’s election.

Here’s what the climate legislation is doing

The sweeping bill calls for more than $300 billion to be invested in energy and climate reforms. It’s the largest federal clean energy investment in US history, although it falls short of what progressive Democrats and climate activists originally called for.

“This legislation is the greatest advance on climate ever and will enable us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting my climate goals,” Biden said.

It includes $60 billion to support renewable energy infrastructure in manufacturing, like solar panels and wind turbines, and includes tax credits for electric vehicles and measures to make homes more energy efficient.

Democrats say the bill will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade, falling short of Biden’s original target.

There is a prescription drug cost cap for Medicare

In healthcare, the bill allows the federal health secretary to negotiate the prices of some Medicare drugs. It also limits out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for people receiving Medicare to $2,000, effective in 2025.

The bill also provides for a three-year extension of health care subsidies in the Affordable Care Act, which were originally passed in last year’s Pandemic Relief Bill.

In terms of taxes, legislation sets a minimum tax rate of 15% for companies with incomes of $1 billion or more, which is estimated to bring in over $300 billion in revenue.

Democrats originally wanted to include childcare funding, universal pre-K and paid family leave — all items that were dropped during the course of negotiations.

And despite the bill’s name, the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office says the anti-inflation bill will have a negligible impact on inflation in 2022 and 2023.

Now Biden and the Democrats want credit

With three months to go before the midterm elections, the Democrats want to promote the benefits of the legislation. Some take effect immediately, including the energy efficiency tax credits. But other benefits, like lower prescription drug costs, won’t be felt before voters go to the polls.

Democrats must stem a tide of negative headlines over the anniversary of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan — as well as voters’ continued concerns about inflation.

The White House has announced government officials will travel across the country to announce the impact of the legislation. Cabinet members will visit 23 states in more than 35 trips in August, the White House said.

The White House says other events will show how Biden has been working to pass a series of bipartisan measures, including gun safety legislation and a law to increase domestic production of semiconductor chips to remain competitive with China.

As part of its digital campaign, the White House plans to launch an interactive climate stimulus website to give families and small businesses easy access to information about tax credits.

Plans for a media blitz include using various online and social media channels to spread the Democrats’ message. The White House plans to hold briefings with influencers and content creators to “amplify our message on their own online social media channels,” according to a memo accompanying the plans.

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