Democrats pass major inflation bill — Analysis
After months of negotiation, the measure is now headed to Washington to become law.
The United States Congress has passed a sweeping bill meant to tackle inflation, healthcare and climate change, with Democrats unifying to send the measure to the president’s desk despite attracting no support from Republicans.
The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act in a 220-207 party-line vote on Friday, with zero GOP lawmakers approving the law and all Democrats joining forces to vote ‘yes.’ President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law sometime in the coming days.
Later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi celebrated the victory in an interview. She said that the vote had been a success. “not anything that anybody, three months ago, would have said is a possibility.”Separately, she boasted on the House’s floor that the bill was “very good.” “expands the promise of health and financial security for generations to come.”
Last week’s Senate vote was close. The bill passed by 51 to 50 after a lengthy debate. The bill was also rejected by the Republican-backed upper chamber. However, it passed with a tie-breaking vote cast by Kamala Harris.
Although it is intended to reduce record high inflation in the US this bill also includes lofty goals such as a commitment of $700 million to climate change and increasing healthcare costs.
In the beginning, Democrats wanted to pass a much bigger Build Back Better Act. This would have run around $1.75 Trillion. However, they had to compromise because of internal party discussion between moderates, progressives, and were forced to accept significant concessions. After a year-long process of negotiations, Joe Manchin, a senior senator from West Virginia, announced last month that he and other Dems had agreed to a $700 billion inflation bill.
House Republicans opposed the spending bill vocally, while others warned the act would expand the US tax authority, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as well as raise taxes on the middle class.
“Today the people’s house should be working to answer our country’s call to address the rising price of gas, groceries and just about anything else,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) said during Friday’s floor debate, insisting the Democrat-sponsored legislation will do none of the above.