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⚡️ Punchbowl News Special Edition: House passes reconciliation package
Breaking: The House has passed the Inflation Reduction Act — a giant tax, climate and health care package — sealing a major domestic policy victory for Democratic congressional leaders and President Joe Biden.
The vote on the Inflation Reduction Act was 220-207, with all Republicans opposed. Every single House Democrat voted for the bill. This is a big coup for the leadership, which was navigating a very slim majority.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to immediately send the package to the White House for Biden’s signature. Here’s Pelosi:
“Today is a day of celebration. A day we take another giant step in our momentous agenda. Our Inflation Reduction Act is a robust, cost-cutting package that meets the moment, ensuring that our families thrive and that our planet survives.”
Pelosi added that the legislation is “the most consequential climate action in the history of our Congress, of our country.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called the bill “misguided and tone deaf” on the floor Friday afternoon. Here’s McCarthy:
“The facts about this bill are just astonishing. It sends $27 billion to a fraudulent national climate bank. Put that in perspective: That’s triple the size of the EPA’s current budget. …
“How do [Democrats] explain to their constituents this winter when they’re making a choice about whether they pay the energy to heat their homes; or they cut back on the gas to fill their tank; or they no longer even buy the food they like at the grocery store because it just comes too high, they have to change?”
McCarthy spoke for nearly an hour. He also warned that Republicans won’t run the House like Democrats did — and will immediately cancel proxy voting — if the GOP takes over in January. Many Republicans voted by proxy today.
There are just 88 days until Election Day, and Democrats plan to run on the following:
→ This $740-billion reconciliation package includes popular provisions such as allowing Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drugs, a 15% minimum tax on corporations, hundreds of billions of dollars for new programs to combat climate change and an extension of Obamacare subsidies.
→ The American Rescue Plan, which authorizes $1.9 trillion to try to bring the U.S. economy out of the Covid crisis.
→ The bipartisan CHIPS bill, which will spark domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
→ The bipartisan infrastructure package.
→ The bipartisan gun control bill.
→ Historically low unemployment numbers.
→ Signs that inflation may be moderating.
Yet rising prices remains a stubborn problem for Democrats. While the cost of gas has gone down, food and housing costs continue to soar.
The big question politically is whether the economic outlook will improve appreciably — or the perception of how the economy is doing — by the time voters start casting their ballots.
– Jake Sherman, John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle and Max Cohen
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images
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