US lower house passes Biden’s tax and climate bill

Washington, Aug 12 (EFE).- The United States House of Representatives on Friday passed President Joe Biden’s package of tax, climate and health-care measures, which contemplates $739 billion in new spending over the next 10 years.

The vote on the Inflation Reduction Act was 220-207.

Not a single Republican joined the Democratic majority in voting “yes” on the legislation crafted by Senate Democrats based on Biden’s original proposal, the $1,7 trillion Build Back Better package, which stalled in 2021 amid opposition from some Democrats.

The bill cleared the Senate last Sunday thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris, who cast the deciding vote in her capacity as presiding officer after the chamber divided 50-50 on party lines.

“Today, the American people won. Special interests lost,” Biden said on Twitter following the vote in the House. “With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the House, families will see lower prescription drug prices, lower health care costs, and lower energy costs. I look forward to signing it into law next week.”

Members cast their votes after nearly nine hours of sometimes heated debate.

“Today the majority jams through another spending spree,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in his nearly 50-minute speech on the floor.

“Democrats more than any other majority in history are addicted to spending other people’s money,” the California Republican said.

Though the sums were sharply reduced from Build Back Better, the bill represents by far the country’s largest investment to date in steps to address climate change.

The legislation establishes a minimum corporate income tax of 15 percent and is forecast to trim the budget deficit by around $100 billion over the next 10 years.

On health care, the bill authorizes Medicare – the federal plan that covers people over 65 – to negotiate the prices of a small number of prescription drugs.

“Today is a day of celebration, a day we take another giant step in our momentous agenda,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. EFE


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