WASHINGTON – After a long dispute over investments of billions in climate protection and social affairs, the US House of Representatives is voting on a comprehensive legislative package. “Friday (today) House Democrats will pass the historic anti-inflation bill and submit it to the President,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote to her fellow Democrats. The Senate approved the bill on Sunday with a narrow majority of Democrats in that house. All Republicans voted against it.
US President Joe Biden has already announced that he will sign the law. He spoke of the largest investment ever made by the United States to tackle climate change. Biden’s original plans for climate protection and social reforms were among the main projects of his tenure. The current package is a compromise due to disagreements within his Democratic Party. There is only a fraction of what Biden originally wanted to pursue.
However, the fact remains that the vote is a remarkable success for the president at all – it was hardly expected until recently. Biden has long struggled with poor approval ratings. According to data from the FiveThirtyEight website that brings together various surveys, only 40 percent are satisfied with their work, and no more than 55 percent are.
FiveThirtyEight’s simulations calculate a high probability that Republicans will win a majority in the House of Representatives in November’s congressional elections. Biden will then have an even harder time with legislative projects.
The so-called anti-inflation bill that is now up for vote is much broader than its name suggests. This includes, among other things, the following aspects:
About $ 370 billion (about 359 billion euros) is to be invested in the sector over the next ten years. It aims to promote the manufacture of solar cells and wind turbines. Financial incentives are also provided for the construction of electric car plants. Energy research should be promoted. The measures should reduce CO2 emissions in the United States by about 40 percent by 2030.
For the first time, state health insurance for the elderly or disabled (Medicare) should be allowed to negotiate the prices of certain expensive drugs directly with drug companies. Democrats expect savings of about $290 billion over ten years. By 2025, patient co-pays for the drug will be capped at $2,000 per year. In addition, health insurance premiums are expected to drop for millions of Americans.
The legislative package aims to plug tax loopholes. Companies with profits of more than $1 billion annually must pay at least 15 percent in future taxes. This minimum tax should flow into the domestic exchequer about $313 billion over the next ten years. The IRS is expected to receive an additional $80 billion over the same period. This should enable the IRS to collect an additional $124 billion in taxes from wealthy and highly profitable companies. According to the US government, households with a household income of less than $400,000 per year should not be affected.
The US government believes the legislative package could reduce the state’s deficit by more than $300 billion. This should also bring down inflation, which was 8.5 per cent in July.