Democrats Pass Climate Health and Tax Bill
Democrats past major climate, health and tax legislation.
Senate Democrats, after weeks of negotiations to revive the core of their election-year agenda, passed a spending bill which would attempt to tackle climate change, the high cost of prescription drugs and lower the deficit by roughly $300 billion.
Late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, Senators voted on amendments to Democrats' major spending bill that tackles health care, climate and taxes.
The legislation was passed through the budget reconciliation process, which means all 50 Democrats and one tie-breaker vote from Vice President Harris were needed, since none of the 50 Republican senators voted for the bill. It also restricts the measures in the bill to those that directly change federal spending and revenue.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Saturday that despite a few cuts from the Senate parliamentarian, the bill overall is still a legislative win for Democrats.
"It's been a long, tough, winding road," Schumer said before the final vote Sunday.
More than $300 billion would be invested in energy and climate reform, the largest federal clean energy investment in U.S. history.
The bill has support from many environmental and climate activists but is short of the $555 billion that Democrats had originally called for.
On health reforms, the bill takes on making prescription drugs more affordable — but there are some limits.
The bill includes a historic measure that allows the federal health secretary to negotiate the prices of certain expensive drugs each year for Medicare.
The legislation creates a 15% minimum tax for corporations making $1 billion or more in income, bringing in more than $300 billion in revenue.
A portion that got cut, though, is one that narrowed the carried interest tax loophole. Arizona Kyrsten Sinema agreed to sign onto the bill if this measure, which would have changed the way private equity income is taxed, was cut. Democrats said it would have brought in $14 billion in revenue.
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