The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a bill that members of President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party say will bring a major drop in greenhouse gas emissions, lower drug prices for seniors and force corporations and wealthy individuals to pay more in taxes. The package now heads to the House of Representatives, where Biden’s party has a majority.
The vote was very close
That this proposal had many opponents is shown by the fact that the vote to pass it was as close as it could have been. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 51 to 50. All 50 Democrats voted in favor, and Vice President Kamala Harris added the deciding vote.
Democrats say it is potentially the biggest investment they have ever made in the US to combat climate change. The proposal is calculated to help reduce up to 40% of greenhouse gases from 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
Republicans have opposed
Republicans were fundamentally opposed to this bill. They said the plan would harm the economy and fuel already high inflation. High inflation recently forced the Fed to raise interest rates, which did not please a large number of investors and companies. Thus, further inflationary pressures towards a potential increase in inflation are not very desirable.
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Senators came to the vote after more than 15 hours of deliberations on amendments to the proposal. A vote in the House of Representatives is expected on Friday, after which the president must still sign the bill. He, of course, will not cause any problems and said.
“The House should pass the Climate Change, Taxes and Medicines Bill as soon as possible and I look forward to signing it into law.”
So what will the bill bring?
The bill is expected to bring in more than $700 billion over the next ten years. Most of that amount should be provided by the introduction of a minimum 15% tax on for-profit corporations, combined with a strengthening of the IRS.
But the plan also includes tax breaks for solar panel manufacturers. Another tax break should be a relief for consumers who choose to purchase an electric vehicle.
Other investments would help Americans reduce health care costs, for example by capping seniors’ prescription drug payments at $2,000 a year.