After 18 months of negotiations and an overnight debate, the U.S. Senate passed Joe Biden’s major climate- and health-focused “anti-inflation” plan on Sunday, Aug. 7, in less than 100 days Here, the president won a major stage victory. midterm elections.
On their vote alone, Democrats approved the plan, which will invest more than $430 billion (more than 420 billion euros), to return to the House of Representatives next week for a final vote before being signed into law by Mr. Biden.
This The President of the United States welcomed the newsSunday night. “A lot of compromises have to be made. It’s almost always needed to do what’s important”he said in a statement. ‘This bill will change America for decades to come’Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer assured him after the vote, to a thunderous applause from his camp.
America’s biggest investment in climate
All Republican senators voted against the text, renaming it the Reducing Inflation Act, which they accused of generating unnecessary public spending. As a result of tough negotiations with the Democratic right, the envelope includes the largest investment the United States has ever made for climate — $370 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
Through this reform, Americans will receive up to $7,500 in tax credits for electric vehicle purchases. Solar panels installed on its roof will cover 30%. The reforms must also enhance the resilience of forests in the face of fires ravaging the American West, whose spread is directly attributable to global warming.
Billions of dollars in tax credits will also be given to the most polluting industries to help them with their energy transition, a measure strongly criticized by the party’s left, who had to line up to support the text for falling short of more ambitious goals agreement.
Too costly for Republicans, not ambitious enough for left-wing Democrats
Joe Biden came to power with a huge reform program and saw them buried, resurrected, and buried again by a very moderate Senator in his camp, Joe Manchin. Elected representatives in West Virginia, known for its coal mines, effectively have veto power over his project, given the Democratic majority in the Senate is so thin. In late July, Senate Democratic leaders finally managed to get Mr. Manchin to compromise.
Senators finally began debating the text in the hemicycle on Saturday.At night, they entered a “Vote Rama”during which elected officials proposed dozens of amendments for fifteen consecutive hours and called for a vote on each amendment.
The Republican opposition, who think Biden’s plan is too expensive, and the Democratic left, who wants to expand, have a chance to voice their grievances. Influential left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders introduced several amendments overnight aimed at strengthening the social aspects of the text, which have been slashed in recent months.
‘This bill does nothing to solve the problem’
The text provides for $64 billion in health investments and phasing out the prices of certain drugs, which could be 10 times more expensive than in other wealthy countries. But progressives have had to abandon their ambitions for free public kindergarten and college 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 deserve”criticized Mr. Sanders of Half-Wheeler. ‘This bill does nothing to solve the problem’, assured the former presidential candidate. But the Democratic camp, eager to implement the plan and provide the president with victory ahead of dangerous legislative elections in November, has united to reject the vast majority of the amendments.
In parallel with these massive investments, the bill also intends to reduce the public deficit by imposing a new minimum tax of 15 percent on all companies with more than $1 billion in profits. It is designed to prevent certain large companies from exploiting tax loopholes that allow them to pay well below the theoretical rate. The measure is estimated to generate more than $258 billion in U.S. federal revenue over the next decade.