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U.S. House gives Biden a win with massive bill on climate change, drug prices

Economic Indicators Aug 12, 2022 11:29PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo 2/2
 
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By David Morgan, Moira Warburton and Rose Horowitch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives approved a $430 billion bill on Friday that is seen as the biggest climate package in U.S. history, delivering a major legislative victory for President Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

The legislation to fight climate change and lower prescription drug prices aims to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions. It will also allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for the elderly and ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay the taxes they owe. Democrats say it will help combat inflation by reducing the federal deficit.

The House voted 220-207 along party lines to pass the measure titled the "Inflation Reduction Act" and send it on to Biden to sign into law. The Senate approved the legislation on Sunday after a marathon, 27-hour session.

Biden said he would sign the bill in the week ahead, then the White House would hold a celebration on Sept. 6 in honor of what he said was historic legislation.

"Today, the American people won. Special interests lost," Biden said in a Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) post.

Democrats hope the legislation will help them at the polls in November, when voters decide the balance of power in Congress ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Republicans are favored to win a majority in the House and could also take control of the Senate.

"It is a resounding victory for America's families," Pelosi declared just before the vote, describing the legislation as "a robust cost-cutting package that meets the moment, ensuring that our families thrive and that our planet survives."

Biden plans to travel across the country to tout the bill along with a series of other legislative victories at a time when many voters have soured on him amid soaring inflation.

About half of Americans support the climate and drug pricing legislation, including 69% of Democrats and 34% of Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Aug. 3 and 4.

Business groups have had a mixed reaction to the legislation, which offers the prospect of higher tax bills for some companies while at the same time giving protections to the fossil fuel industry.

Republicans oppose the legislation, warning it will kill jobs by raising corporate tax bills, further fuel inflation with government spending and inhibit the development of new drugs.

"Democrats more than any other majority in history are addicted to spending other people's money, regardless of what we as a country can afford," House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said in a floor speech.

The bill has been more than 18 months in the making. It represents a final version of Biden's original sweeping Build Back Better plan, which had to be whittled down in the face of opposition from Republicans and key legislators from his own party.

Investors looking to pour cash into clean energy products can expect at least a decade of federal subsidies through long-term tax credits for wind and solar and new credits for energy storage, biogas and hydrogen. Developers who use U.S.-made equipment or build in poorer areas will have additional support.

But the bill does not leave the U.S. fossil fuels industry out in the cold. Some provisions allow the federal government to authorize new wind and solar energy developments on federal land only when it is also auctioning rights to drill for oil and natural gas.

The fossil fuel protections disappointed progressives but posed no barrier to Democratic support.

"We don't support the expansion of fossil fuel leasing," said Representative Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "But critically ... independent analyses show that their impact will be far outweighed by the bill's carbon pollution cuts."

A $7,500 tax credit to encourage U.S. consumers to buy electric vehicles could not be used for most EV models on the market, according to major automakers, who warn that the legislation will put achieving U.S. EV adoption targets for 2030 in jeopardy.

To be eligible for the credit, vehicles must be assembled in North America, which would make some current EVs ineligible as soon as the bill takes effect.

The bill's main revenue source is a 15% corporate minimum tax aimed at stopping large, profitable companies from gaming the Internal Revenue Service code to slash their tax bills to zero.

U.S. House gives Biden a win with massive bill on climate change, drug prices
 

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Comments (7)
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Aug 12, 2022 8:13PM ET
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caring for the elderly and our childrens future is about being human
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 12, 2022 8:13PM ET
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yeah but apparently the republicans didn't want stop the US citizens getting over charged by the pharma companies, must be the lobbyists' campaign donations
leehiung chong
leehiung chong Aug 12, 2022 6:33PM ET
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just like Obamacare republican will try to reverse this by making rhetorics half-truths lies h
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Leroy Rodgers
Leroy Rodgers Aug 12, 2022 6:33PM ET
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You can also read the CBOs thoughts on the bill as well if you can handle people disagreeing with you. Even Bernie Sanders didn't like the bill.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2022 6:33PM ET
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Bernie voted for it.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 12, 2022 6:33PM ET
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I am still waiting to see GOP's healthcare proposal, Trump said it was coming back in 2016 so I have no reason to doubt that....
Joe Fred
Joe Fred Aug 12, 2022 6:33PM ET
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Not sure what you been smoking on, but Obamacare has dramatically raised insurance costs whike simultanously lowering service. The claims of that bill by the dems was all a bunch of BS and the architect behind it has admitted publicly that he knew all along it would raise costs and people would end up losing their doctors unlike what was said by Obama himself. And in case you were absent, Trump worked on lowering Rx costs and singed executive orders to lower drug prices. Sorry but the dems don’t have any exclusivity working on this and in thr end, Obamacare raised prices 2-3 fold for many including myself.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 12, 2022 6:33PM ET
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Joe Fred  "Obamacare has dramatically raised insurance costs whike simultanously lowering service."  -- hmmm, is that why even red state governors are all signing up to Obamacare for their states?
Bev Mcguffee
Bev Mcguffee Aug 12, 2022 2:15PM ET
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Sadly, I have not seen one bill passed, by a Democratic majority, that was not socialistic and pro big government excessive spending.  I feel sure this is more of the same.  We can start to turn things around  by our voting.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2022 2:15PM ET
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Yeah, but come on.
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Aug 12, 2022 2:15PM ET
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Bev deprived nonsense. caring for the elderly and our childrens future is about being human.
Jonas Jonsey.
Jonas Jonsey. Aug 12, 2022 2:15PM ET
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vote in a rigged system? Same everywhere, here in Sweden we have our voting for parliment ln 9/11...whistleblower have already come out and said that the result is already made.Last voting they created on live TV
Christopher Arntz
Christopher Arntz Aug 12, 2022 2:15PM ET
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F..ked up democrats will succeed in destroying AMERICA Unless we VOTE that *****out.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 12, 2022 2:15PM ET
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"I have not seen one bill passed, by a Democratic majority, that was not socialistic..."  first, what is your definition of "socialistic" (is that even a real word?)?  second, name one bill that's actually socialist....
joe balone
joe balone Aug 12, 2022 12:57PM ET
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A win for dems is a loss for middle class.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2022 12:57PM ET
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Your name sure fits.
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 12, 2022 12:57PM ET
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Last name is fitting
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 12, 2022 12:57PM ET
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yeah, why would the middle class want to stop being screwed by the pharma companies?.....who doesn't want to be charged higher drug prices than every other countries in the world?
EL LA
EL LA Aug 12, 2022 10:47AM ET
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Superfund sites could make a great comeback as well, since there will be millions more toxic solar panels, spent batteries, nuclear waste materials, and old toxic windmills for the earth's landfills.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2022 10:47AM ET
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OMG! WE ARE DOOMED!!!
jason xx
jason xx Aug 12, 2022 10:47AM ET
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Anymore but hurt you want to post about?
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 12, 2022 10:47AM ET
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"old toxic windmills"  -- how exactly is windmill toxic???
Raymond Pasillas
Raymond Pasillas Aug 12, 2022 9:44AM ET
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People wanted freedom but they can't seem to manage their monet so now they want communism
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 12, 2022 9:44AM ET
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Huh? Lay down crak pipe.
John Hat
John Hat Aug 12, 2022 9:14AM ET
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Yes! Spending more money will decrease inflation. Who voted for these dipsticks?
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Trumpster Rocks
Trumpster Rocks Aug 12, 2022 9:14AM ET
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jason xx It's all about Fascism this go around don't forget you have a Fake p and vp committing Tr__son every single day
Trumpster Rocks
Trumpster Rocks Aug 12, 2022 9:14AM ET
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lup sup No half those votes were Ballot harvested and machine switching in the middle of the night...
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2022 9:14AM ET
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It's not a big mystery why some commenters don't want to see America on-shore more manufacturing.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 12, 2022 9:14AM ET
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Trumpster Rocks THIS IS TRUE!!! AND ALL OF THE LOCAL ELECTION OFFICIALS, STATE ELECTION OFFICIALS, LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT, STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT, FBI, DOJ, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, STATE JUDGES AND FEDERAL JUDGES WHO IGNORED IT ARE IN ON IT!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE. LACK OF EVIDENCE IS EVIDENCE !!!
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Aug 12, 2022 9:14AM ET
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Trumpster Rocks lmao russian bot and cuckhold to putin get up off your knees and wipe off your chin
 
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