Biden signs massive climate and health care legislation

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden Democrats’ landmark health care and climate change bill signed into law on Tuesday, offering what he called the “final piece” of a diminished domestic agenda. his party, as he aims to elevate his party’s standing with voters less than three months before midterm. elections.
The act includes the most significant federal investment in history to combat climate change — about $375 billion over the decade — and will cap prescription drug costs to $2,000 out-of-pocket annually. for people receiving Medicare. It will also help the estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care coverage by expanding benefits offered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure is paid for by new taxes on large corporations and increased IRS enforcement on wealthy individuals and entities, with additional funds that would reduce the federal deficit.
In a winning signing event at The White House, Biden pointed to the law as proof that democracy – no matter how lengthy or messy the process – can still give voters in America as he tests a line he will likely repeat at the end This fall before the midterms: “The American people have won, and special interests are lost.”
“In this historic moment, the Democrats are on the side of the American people, and every Republican in Congress is on the side of special interests in this vote,” Biden said, repeatedly capturing the antagonism between his party and the GOP. “One by one.”
The House of Representatives on Friday passed the measure on a partisan 220-207 vote. It had been passed by the Senate a few days earlier with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the 50-50 tie in that chamber.
“In normal times, completing these bills would be a tremendous achievement,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck. Schumer, DN.Y., said during the ceremony at the White House. “But to do it now, with just 50 Democratic votes in the Senate, over a staunch Republican minority, is nothing short of amazing.”
Biden signed the bill into law in a small ceremony at the White House’s State Dining Room, sandwiched between his return from a six-day beach vacation in South Carolina and a trip home to Wilmington, Delaware. He plans to hold a larger “celebration” of the act on September 6 after lawmakers return to Washington.
The signing increases legislative productivity for Biden and Congress, who in three months have passed legislation on veterans’ rights, the semiconductor industry, and gun testing for young buyers. The president and lawmakers also reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and strongly supported NATO membership for Sweden and Finland.
With Biden’s approval ratings lagging, Democrats hope that a string of successes will kick off a chance to maintain control in Washington mid-term in November. The 79-year-old president has set his sights on reinstatement. his own standing with voters as he considered a re-election bid.
The White House announced Monday that it will deploy Biden and members of his Cabinet on a “Tour of a Better America” ​​to boost recent victories. One of Biden’s trips will be to Ohio, where he will see the start of a semiconductor plant that would benefit from recent legislation to ramp up production of such computer chips. He will also stop in Pennsylvania to promote his administration’s plan for safer communities, a visit that was scheduled the same day he tested positive for Covid-19 in September. before.
Biden also plans to hold a Cabinet meeting to discuss how to implement the new health care and climate legislation.
Republicans say the act’s new business taxes will raise prices, exacerbating the nation’s battle with the highest inflation since 1981. Even though Democrats have labeled it The measure is the Inflation Reduction Act, which nonpartisan analysts say will have a barely discernible impact on prices.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, RS.D., on Tuesday continued similar criticisms, though he acknowledged there would be “benefits” through extending tax credits for energy projects. renewables such as solar and wind.
“I think it’s too much spending, too much taxation, and in my view the wrong priorities, and a super-charged, super-sized IRS that’s going to go after a lot of people who aren’t just… Taxpayers have high income but also average income. -welcome taxpayers,” said Thune, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event in Sioux Falls. The administration has argued that anyone but high earners will face more scrutiny over taxes, with the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen directs tax authorities to focus only on businesses and those earning over $400,000 per year for new audits.
The measure is a stripped-down version of a more ambitious plan to strengthen social and environmental programs that Biden and his team announced early last year.
Biden’s original 10-year $3.5 trillion proposal also envisions free kindergarten, paid medical and family leave, expanding Medicare benefits and easing restrictions immigration. That fell apart after the Sen center. Joe ManchinDW.Va. said it was too costly, using the leverage that every Democrat in the Senate shares equally.
During the signing event, Biden told Manchin, who reached a crucial agreement with Schumer on the bid last month, saying, “Joe, I never doubted it” as the crowd giggled. Later, outside the White House, Manchin said he has always maintained a “friendly relationship” with Biden and that it has “never been personal” between the two, although Manchin severed his negotiations. with the White House last year.
“He’s a little bit more classic than me, but not by much,” Manchin said of Biden.
Although the legislation is significantly smaller than their original ambition, Biden and Democrats are hailing the legislation as a unique investment in a generation to address the long-term impacts. of climate change, as well as drought in the western part of the country.
The bill would direct spending, tax credits and loans to promote technology like solar panels, consumer efforts to improve home energy efficiency, emissions-reducing appliances for home coal and gas powered power plants, and air pollution control for farms, ports and income communities.
Another $64 billion will help 13 million people pay premiums over the next three years for health insurance purchased privately under the Affordable Care Act. Medicare will have the power to negotiate its drug costs, initially in 2026 with only 10 drugs. Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug costs will be capped at $2,000 annually starting in 2025, and starting next year will pay no more than $35 monthly for insulin, the drug expensive diabetes.
Congressman Jim Clyburn, DS.C., a strong political ally of Biden, noted during the White House ceremony that his late wife, Emily, had battled diabetes for three decades. century, it “couldn’t be happier” if she were alive today because of the insulin cap.
“A lot of people seem surprised by your successes,” Clyburn told Biden. “I’m not. I know you.”

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