WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate Democrats are celebrating Sunday’s passage of legislation wrapped up in a $740 billion package. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is geared toward slowing climate change, lowering drug costs, and making the tax code fairer.
The IRA passed the Senate with the slimmest possible majority, 51-50. The act would raise an estimated $740 billion over the next decade with a 15% minimum tax for large corporations.
“This is the largest and most consequential investment in fighting back on climate change in the history of this country,” said Jared Bernstein, a member of President Biden’s council of economic advisers.
Revenues would go toward lowering pharmaceutical drug prices and reducing the United States’ $30 trillion debt.
“When we’re talking about the current struggles and family budgets, now we’re talking about something that’s much more immediate,” Bernstein explained.
Whether you’re affected by energy costs, affordable health care or severe drought, “This bill also goes right at that,” Bernstein said.
The IRA also invests in U.S. made energy production, and there is a $300 billion for deficit reduction.
“To help Coloradan’s clean energy industry compete with the rest of the world and we do it by raising taxes on the two hundred largest corporations in America,” Michael Bennet, Colorado U.S. Senator said.
President Biden said the bill is far from perfect, it’s a compromise but some Republicans have a problem with how it’s being presented.
“The first thing is it’s misnamed,” said John Cornyn, U.S. Senator from Texas. “It’s not an inflation act, at its best, it stays constant.”
“I’m not sure why the Federal Government is going to be spending money on electric garbage trucks or how that is going to reduce inflation,” John Thune, South Dakota U.S. Senator said.
President Biden’s economic adviser said he’s only an economist and not a legislator: “I will say that the Republican critiques are just either factually incorrect or have very little to do with what this bill does,” Bernstein explained.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for a vote that could happen as soon as Friday. If passed, the Inflation Reduction Act will move to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.