Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on August 12, 2022.
Olivier Dullieri | AFP | Getty Images
The House of Representatives is expected to pass a sweeping tax, health care and climate bill on Friday, securing a major victory for Democrats and President Joe Biden less than three months before key midterm elections.
The final vote on the more than $430 billion package is expected to come in the afternoon, after a procedural vote and up to three hours of debate on the floor.
The bill, called the Lower Inflation Act, embodies the direction of the Biden administration’s domestic “Better Recovery” program to reshape the US economy after it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
Its provisions are estimated to raise $737 billion over 10 years. Democrats say the bill would reduce the deficit by more than $300 billion, citing analyzes by the nonpartisan Congressional Tax and Budget Office.
The plan includes a record $369 billion in spending on climate and energy policies expected to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. It also allocates $64 billion to expand the Affordable Care Program to reduce insurance costs.
Another key provision is prescription drug pricing reform: The bill would give Medicare the power to negotiate prices for 100 drugs over the next decade, among other reforms that the Senate says will bring in $265 billion.
On the tax side, the bill would impose a 15% corporate alternative minimum tax aimed at wealthy corporations that have managed to reduce their tax burden well below the 21% rate. He would also spend $80 billion to boost the IRS’s tax enforcement and compliance capabilities, a move the Congressional Budget Office estimates would bring in $124 billion in revenue.
During Senate negotiations last week, Democrats also added an excise tax on stock buybacks expected to bring in $74 billion.
The legislation narrowly passed the Senate on Sunday, clearing the biggest hurdle on its way to Biden’s desk. Democrats significantly watered down and changed the bill for more than a year to win the support of a handful of key Democrats who abstained from it.
The bill passed the upper chamber through the reconciliation process, which allowed Democrats to push it without any Republican support in the Senate, which is evenly divided by party. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the deciding vote, sending the bill to the House with a Democratic majority.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.