(KFOR NEWS August 8, 2022) Senate Democrats passed a sprawling package Sunday aimed at lowering health-care costs, raising taxes on corporations, reducing the federal budget deficit and injecting a historic burst of cash into efforts to combat climate change.
“The bill will mean $20 billion going directly to family farmers and ranchers to help with the climate crisis for programs like land conservation, water sensors, and no-till farming,” said NDP Chair Jane Kleeb. “The government will finally be able to negotiate prescription drug prices with big pharmaceutical companies for families on Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, Sens. Ben Sass and Deb Fischer helped block a provision that would have made insulin accessible to every Nebraskan for only $35. The Republican party simply does not care about the people. All the Republicans care about is their party label and protecting big corporations.”
The final, party-line vote was 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.
Dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the package would authorize the biggest burst of spending in U.S. history to tackle global warming — roughly $370 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below their 2005 levels by the end of this decade. The proposal also would make good on Democrats’ years-old pledge to reduce prescription drug costs for the elderly.
The legislation is less ambitious than President Biden’s original domestic goals. But it embodies deep-rooted party dreams of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing big corporations. Debate began Saturday and went around the clock into Sunday afternoon. Democrats had swatted down some three dozen Republican efforts to torpedo the legislation. Biden is urging swift House passage, and the House seems on track to provide final congressional approval when it returns briefly from summer recess on Friday.