The U.S. Senate on Sunday approved a legislative package to combat climate change, lower health care costs, raise taxes on billion-dollar corporations and reduce the federal deficit.
With all Democrats voting yes and all Republicans voting No, Vice President Kamala Harris broke the tie with a 51-50 vote. The bill will be sent to the House, which is expected to approve the legislation, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on Friday, and then sent to President Joe Biden’s desk.
The vote comes just three months before the November midterm elections.
“I think what it means is that right now, regardless of an election, the American people are being seen and — seen and they’re being heard. And one of the things that they want is that their leaders to get things done, fix the problems, and offer solutions. What happened today is tremendous in terms of the solutions that are being offered,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement.
The 755-page bill includes $430 billion to combat climate change and extend health care coverage funded by savings on prescription drugs and taxes on corporations. According to the Biden Administration, the bill does not raise taxes for those making under $400,000 a year.
The bill also puts hundreds of billions of dollars toward deficit reduction.
Over $300 billion aims to address the climate crisis and boost clean energy. The bill also includes $60 billion for growing renewable energy infrastructure in manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines. According to President Joe Biden in a statement, the bill lowers families' energy costs by hundreds of dollars each year.
The bill includes several tax credits on items such as electric vehicles and making homes more energy efficient. The legislation aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the nation by 40 percent based on 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
"This bill is far from perfect. It's a compromise. But it's often how progress is made," Biden said at the White House last month. "My message to Congress is this: This is the strongest bill you can pass.
The bill caps seniors’ out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year. Additionally, 13 million Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act will see their health insurance premiums reduced by $800.
Under the bill, the Health and Human Services secretary would negotiate the prices of 10 drugs in 2026, and another 15 drugs in 2027, again in 2028, and so on.
The legislation creates a 15 percent minimum tax for corporations making $1 billion or more in income, bringing in more than $300 billion in revenue. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this would impact only around 150 large firms.