Senate

Biden cheers Senate vote on Inflation Reduction Act, urges House to pass bill quickly

Associated Press/Susan Walsh
FILE – President Joe Biden speaks about the economy during a meeting with CEOs in the South Court Auditorium on the White House on July 28, 2022.

President Biden on Sunday applauded the Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it the “largest investment ever in combatting the existential crisis of climate change” as he urged the House to pass its version of the bill as soon as possible.

The president also touted the 775-page climate, health care and tax bill for “making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”

“Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share,” Biden said in a statement. “I ran for president promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does — period.”

The $740 billion legislation was passed by the Senate on Sunday with the support of all 50 Democrats and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Harris. The legislation bypassed the 60-vote threshold needed to override a filibuster because it was considered a tax and spending bill and could be moved through the budget reconciliation process.

The approval came after an overnight voting marathon known as a vote-a-rama, which extended from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon. Republicans attempted to work in several amendments that were ultimately defeated.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also filed an amendments that attempted to revive the expanded child tax credit that expired last year, along with measures that would include additional climate provisions and and expanding Medicare coverage, but they were ultimately defeated when he cast the lone “yes” vote.

Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who held out her support of the bill until late last week, also joined six other Democrats who voted for a GOP amendment that nearly derailed final passage of the bill.

Before it passed the Senate, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced the lower chamber would reconvene on Friday to take up the massive measure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Sunday that the House “will return and move swiftly to send this bill to the President’s desk.”

“Today is a victory for America’s families and for our planet.  This landmark legislation, which includes key House Democratic proposals, will rein in health care costs for Americans across the country: extending Affordable Care Act subsidies and empowering Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices,” she said. “By defending America’s energy security and reducing carbon pollution by nearly 40 percent by the end of the decade, it will slash energy costs and help save the planet.”

The Inflation Reduction Act includes $369 billion for climate and clean energy investments, will raise more than $300 billion in revenue after imposing a new minimum for corporate taxes and allows Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drugs.

The president also gave a nod to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) for his work in finding compromise among Democrats on the bill.

“I want to thank Leader Schumer and every member of the Senate Democratic caucus for supporting this bill. It required many compromises. Doing important things almost always does,” Biden said in a statement. “The House should pass this as soon as possible and I look forward to signing it into law.”

Updated at 5:17 p.m.

Tags Bernie Sanders Biden Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Inflation Reduction Act Joe Biden U.S. Senate Washington DC
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