U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) holds a press conference at the Washington State Capitol, USA, August 5, 2022, to promote the $430 billion drug pricing, energy and tax bill .
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
U.S. Senate Democrats said on Saturday that they’re on President Joe Biden’s agenda, including tackling climate change, cutting costs of energy and medicine for the elderly, and forcing some businesses and wealthy Americans to pay more taxes. It was going to push for a bill that would address the key elements.
Senators rule that most health-care provisions in $430 billion bill can be passed only by simple majority, sidestepping filibuster rule requiring 60 votes in 100-seat chamber to advance most legislation and allowed the Democrats to pass. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that the move outweighs Republican opposition.
The Senate began its unusual weekend session around noon (1600 GMT). Saturday will begin a arduous process that could extend until early next week, with senators submitting their amendments in a time-consuming “vote alama.”
Democrats hope the bill will boost candidates in the Nov. 8 midterm elections. submitted.
“Democrats have received very good news,” Schumer said in a statement. “Medicare will finally be allowed to negotiate drug prices..This is a big win for the American people.”
Medicare is the government’s health insurance program for older adults and certain Americans with disabilities.
The bill’s tax provisions have three main parts. A minimum tax rate of 15% for corporations and closing loopholes that the wealthy can use to avoid paying taxes. Tighter IRS Enforcement. And a new excise tax on share buybacks.
The legislation generated $430 billion in new spending and over $740 billion in new revenue.
In addition to billions of dollars to encourage the production and purchase of more electric vehicles and to promote clean energy, the bill sets out $4 billion for a new federal drought relief fund. A move that could help the re-election campaigns of Democratic Senators of Cortez Mast and Mark Kelly of Arizona.
Senator Tom Carper, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the climate clause, which includes a program to reduce methane emissions, was approved by senators.
Republicans have pledged to do everything they can to block or block the bill, and Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday that the Democrat-backed bill was “a jihad that they tax and spend.” called.
Democrats aim to force the bill into the Senate using an arcane and complex “reconciliation” procedure, where it can pass without Republican support in a 50-50 split chamber. preliminary report.
If one provision was removed from the bill, drug companies would have been forced to pay back both government and private health care plans if drug prices rose faster than inflation. Parliamentarians ruled that the measure was not applicable to private industry.
Left-wing senators such as Bernie Sanders are likely to try to expand the scope of the bill to include new programs such as federal subsidies for childcare and home health care for the elderly. It suggests a number of amendments to address another issue, cross-border immigration.
Several Democratic senators said they would vote against all amendments for fear that the carefully negotiated deal would fall apart.
Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat, tweeted, “I vote against all amendments, even the ones I like. I can think of many ways to strengthen it, but no change.” I will not derail this bill by supporting