By MICHAEL GINSBERG, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER | August 07, 2022
The Senate passed the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act on Sunday afternoon after an all-night session lasted more than 15 hours. The package, negotiated by Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York, passed along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the upper chamber’s 50-50 tie. The bill includes nearly $370 billion in green energy subsidies and tax credits, nearly $80 billion in funding for the Internal Revenue Service and a drug price setting mechanism for Medicare. It also establishes a 15% tax on corporations with market caps higher than $1 billion.
Although Democrats have repeatedly argued that the bill will reduce inflation, the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model has “low confidence that the legislation will have any impact on inflation.” In addition, the bill will likely raise taxes for Americans in every bracket, despite President Joe Biden’s pledge to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. The Inflation Reduction Act will pay down the federal deficit by more than $300 billion, the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found.
Senators voted down 35 amendments and passed two, with the 48 Democrats and Independent Angus King of Maine agreeing that they would oppose all amendments offered during vote-a-rama to offer the legislation its best chance of passing. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders objected to the agreement, offering amendments that would restructure the child tax credit, but his proposal failed 97-1.
“They’re great amendments. I’m very happy and I think it says something that every Democrat and Republican voted against them. It says I’m doing something right,” Sanders complained, according to Politico. “I’m fighting for you. I think that should be the message — not to come up with a convoluted reason you can’t vote for it.”
Biden, whose team previously feuded with Manchin during negotiations, cheered the vote. (RELATED: Joe Manchin Says He Was ‘Ostracized’ And ‘Victimized’ Over Killing Build Back Better)
“Today, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, siding with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and energy and reduce the deficit while making the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” he said in a statement.
The House of Representatives will take up the legislation when it gets back from recess on Aug. 12, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced. The bill is expected to pass the lower chamber along party lines.