Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. Senate Democrats battle to pass $430 billion climate, drug bill

Economic Indicators Aug 06, 2022 09:41PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
4/4 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Storm clouds pass over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo 2/4

By Richard Cowan and Makini Brice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate on Saturday began debating a Democratic bill to address key elements of President Joe Biden's agenda - tackling climate change, lowering the costs of medication for the elderly and energy, while forcing corporations and the wealthy to pay more taxes.

The debate began after the Senate voted 51-50 to move ahead with the legislation. Vice President Kamala Harris broke a tie vote, with all 50 Republicans in opposition.

The Senate was set to debate the bill for up to 20 hours before diving into an arduous, time-consuming amendment process called a "vote-a-rama."

Democrats and Republicans were poised to reject each other's amendments, as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer maneuvered to keep a his 50-member caucus united behind a bill that was negotiated over several months. If even one Democrat were to peel off, the entire effort would be doomed in the evenly split 50-50 Senate.

Earlier in the day, the Senate parliamentarian determined that the lion's share of the healthcare provisions in the $430 billion bill could be passed with only a simple majority, bypassing a filibuster rule requiring 60 votes in the 100-seat chamber to advance most legislation and enabling Democrats to pass it over Republican objections.

Democrats hope that the legislation will give a boost to their candidates in the Nov. 8 midterm elections in which Biden's party is in an uphill battle to retain its narrow control of the Senate and House of Representatives. The Democrats cast the legislation as a vehicle to combat inflation, a prime concern of U.S. voters this year.

"The bill, when passed, will meet all of our goals: fighting climate change, lowering healthcare costs, closing tax loopholes abused by the wealthy and reducing the deficit," Schumer said in a Senate speech.

There are three main parts to the bill's tax provisions: a 15% minimum tax on corporations and the closing of loopholes that the wealthy can use to avoid paying taxes; tougher IRS enforcement; and a new excise tax on stock buybacks.

The legislation has $430 billion in new spending along with raising more than $740 billion in new revenues.

Democrats have said the legislation by 2030 would result in a 40% reduction in U.S. carbon emissions, blamed for climate change.

'PRICE-FIXING'

The measure also would allow the Medicare government health insurance program for the elderly to begin negotiating in 2026 with the pharmaceutical industry over prices on a limited number of prescription drug prices as a way of reducing costs. It also would place a $2,000-per-year cap on out-of-pocket medication costs under a Medicare drug program.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the provision involving negotiating drug prices, comparing it to past "price-fixing" attempts by countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and the former Soviet Union.

"Their policy would bring about a world where many fewer new drugs and treatments get invented in the first place as companies cut back on R&D," McConnell said in a floor speech, referring to research and development.

While senators debated the policies embedded in the bill, its political ramifications also were on display.

In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, former President Donald Trump predicted fallout for Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, two key Democratic senators: "If this deal passes, they are both going to lose their next elections."

But Manchin and Sinema are not up for re-election until 2024 and many of the provisions of the bill are popular with voters.

The legislation is a scaled-down version of a far broader, more expensive measure that many Democrats on the party's left had hoped to approve last year. That measure stalled when Manchin, a centrist, balked, complaining that it would exacerbate inflationary pressures.

The bill calls for billions of dollars to encourage the production of more electric vehicles and foster clean energy, though automakers say sourcing rules will sharply limit how many electric vehicles qualify for tax credits.

It also would set $4 billion in new federal drought relief funds, a provision that could help the re-election campaigns of Democratic Senators Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada and Mark Kelly in Arizona.

One provision cut from the bill would have forced drug companies to refund money to both government and private health plans if drug prices rise more quickly than inflation.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading progressive, has criticized the bill for failing to go far enough and said he planned to offer amendments that would revive a series of social programs he pushed last year, including broadening the number of prescription drugs Medicare could negotiate prices on and providing government-subsidized dental, vision and hearing aid.

His amendments were expected to fail.

Republicans have signaled that they will offer amendments touching on other issues, including controlling immigrants coming across the U.S. border with Mexico and enhancing policing to curtail rising crime rates in American cities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Senate Democrats battle to pass $430 billion climate, drug bill
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (18)
William Smith
William Smith Aug 07, 2022 9:34PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
More wasteful spending to fund a misnamed bill (to fool the ignorant masses) that the American hating leftist media will fawn over as they promote their leftist propaganda.
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 07, 2022 9:34PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
THIS IS TRUE! REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS WOULD NEVER WANT AFFORDABLE DRUGS FOR AMERICANS, MORE TRADITIONAL ENERGY, MORE CLEAN ENERGY, DROUGHT AID FOR THE SOUTHWEST OR A $330 BILLION PAYMENT ON U.S. DEBT. NO REAL AMERICAN WOULD EVER WANT ANY OF THESE THINGS !!!!!!!
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 07, 2022 9:34PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
ALSO TRUE: REAL AMERICANS WOULD NOT WANT TO BOLSTER DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION, EV MANUFACTURING, BATTERY MANUFACTURING OR SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING. REAL AMERICAN WOULD WANT TO KEEP THIS MANUFACTURING IN OTHER COUNTRIES !!!!!
Tom Car
Tom Car Aug 07, 2022 1:38PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
How is it possible that more money to expend and not increasing production will fight inflation? A 1st grader knows that it will not
Brad Albright
Brad Albright Aug 07, 2022 1:38PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Apparently, a 1st grade has not acquainted himself with what is in the bill.
Peter Andersen
Peter Andersen Aug 07, 2022 7:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
There are more people in job now biden is the best mann republican take and give to the rich people next time democrats will winn hopefully
Nils Hullmann
Nils Hullmann Aug 07, 2022 4:38AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
midterms will be a red a avalanche
Junk Man
Junk_Man Aug 07, 2022 2:08AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
just introduce bills that create war... I those will all pass
Steve Bojo
Steve Bojo Aug 07, 2022 1:59AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Kill this bill
Jack Zydron
Jack Zydron Aug 07, 2022 1:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
https://siamtoo.com/10783/ can they stop it with new taxes?
Johnny Crash
Johnny Crash Aug 06, 2022 11:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So the Dems are going to tax the economy to death because of climate change hoax
Peter Andersen
Peter Andersen Aug 06, 2022 11:54PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
That’s making jobs and jobs and jobs biden is the mann
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Aug 06, 2022 11:42PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lol they fuq’d
Andrew Ulferts
Andrew Ulferts Aug 06, 2022 10:42PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
This will “help” inflation! Printing dollars. That’s how we got here.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email