Senate passes climate and health bills, win for Biden

WASHINGTON: After 18 months of negotiations and a marathon night of debates, the US Senate passed Joe Biden’s major plan on climate and health on Sunday, giving in a major victory for the president, not 100 days from now.

With their votes alone, the Democrats approved this plan of more than 430 billion dollars of investment, taking the way to the House of Representatives for a final vote this week before being signed into law by Joe Biden.

“This bill will change America for many years to come,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, his voice shaking after the vote, which was greeted by applause. in his camp.

All the Republican senators voted against the text, called “Inflation Reduction Act”, which they accuse of creating unnecessary public spending.

Electric vehicles

The result of difficult negotiations with the right wing of the Democratic Party, this envelope is the largest investment ever made in the United States for climate – 370 billion dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% of this by 2030.

“We need to do a lot of things. Doing the important things will always require them,” said Joe Biden in a press release, welcoming the passage of the bill in the Senate and urging the House of Representatives to adopt the text without delay.

With this regulation, an American will receive up to 7,500 dollars in tax credits for the purchase of an electric vehicle. The installation of solar panels on his roof will be covered by 30%.

This new regulation can strengthen the resilience of forests in the face of the monster fires that are destroying the American West and the increase is directly related to global warming.

Several billions of dollars will also be given to polluting companies in order to help them in their energy transition, a measure strongly criticized by the left wing of the party, should line up after this text , for failure. a contract that is more.

Coming to power with major reform plans, Joe Biden saw them buried, resurrected, and then buried again by a lowly senator from his camp, Joe Manchin. Given the Democratic majority in the Senate, the elected representative of West Virginia, a state known for its coal mines, almost always has veto power over his plans.

At the end of July, the leadership of the Democrats in the Senate won the approval of Mr. Manchin.

“Vote-a-rama”

On Saturday, senators began debating the text in the hemicycle.

In the evening, they participated in a marathon process called “vote-a-rama”, in which the elected officials were selected, drawing samples, for fifteen hours in a row that requested eat the changes and require a vote on each .

It’s an opportunity for Republican opponents, who consider the Biden plan too expensive, and left-wing Democrats, who want more, to express their grievances.

The most important senator on the left, Bernie Sanders, presented some changes at night intended to strengthen the social side of the text, which in recent months has been significantly cut.

The text provides 64 billion dollars of investment in health and a modest reduction in the cost of some medicines, which can be up to ten times better than other rich countries.

But progressives have abandoned their desire for kindergartens and universities and better care for the elderly.

“Millions of retirees will continue to have rotten teeth and not get the dentures, hearing aids or glasses they need,” Sanders said from the hemicycle. “There is nothing in this bill to solve this problem,” the former presidential candidate assured.

But the Democratic camp, eager to carry out this plan before the elections in November and give victory to a president with a popular vote, united and rejected most of the change.

In addition to these large investments, the bill aims to reduce the public deficit with a new minimum tax of 15% for all companies that have a profit of more than one billion dollars. This is intended to prevent some large companies from using tax loopholes that allow them to pay less than the basic rate.

It is estimated that this measure could add more than $258 billion in US federal revenue over the next 10 years.

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