US Congress approves billions for climate and social affairs

US Congress approves billions for climate and social affairs

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democratic Party members celebrate on Capitol Hill.  photo:

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democratic Party members celebrate on Capitol Hill. Photo

© Susan Walsh / Associated Press / DPA

It seemed that the plans of US President Biden had already failed. After all, he got the legislative package through Congress. It’s a win – but not as ambitious as it was in the beginning.

Success for US President Joe Biden: After a long dispute, Congress in Washington passed a package of laws to invest billions in climate protection and the social sector. After the Senate, the House of Representatives also approved the so-called Anti-Inflation Act on Friday. In both houses of parliament, all votes for the law came from Democrats in US President Joe Biden’s ranks, while all votes came from the ranks of Republicans.

Biden announced after the vote that he would sign it into law next week. On September 6, he will also hold a “ceremony in honor of this historic law” at the White House. Biden previously called for the biggest US investment ever to tackle climate change.

Biden will have to cancel original plans

Biden’s original plans for climate protection and social reforms were among the main projects of his tenure. The current package is compromised due to disputes within his party. There is only one part of it that the President once wanted to take forward. Biden wrote on Twitter Friday night that the law “needs to make a lot of compromises. That’s almost always the case when it comes to important things.”

The fact that the law was passed at all was hardly expected until recently – a remarkable victory for the president. Biden has long struggled with poor approval ratings. Only 40 percent are satisfied with their work, no more than 55 percent are, according to data from the FiveThirtyEight website that brings together various surveys. His stats have improved a bit lately.

Biden’s Democrats are still at risk of serious defeat in November: In the congressional elections, Republicans are expected to have a good chance of winning a majority in the House of Representatives. Then Biden, who is already causing problems for dissidents in his own party, will have an even harder time with the proposed legislation.

After the legislation was passed, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock especially praised its climate aspect. “Our chances of going down the two-degree path have increased a bit today,” the Green politician said in Berlin early Saturday. “The largest climate investment program in US history will make a tangible contribution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and implementing the Paris climate agreement.”

The so-called Anti-Inflation Act that Congress has now passed is much broader than it namesake. It includes the following aspects, among other things:

climate protection

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.

cheap drugs

State health insurance for the elderly or disabled (Medicare) is to be allowed to negotiate the prices of certain expensive drugs directly with pharmaceutical companies for the first time.

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.

loss reduction

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.



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