WASHINGTON — After months of painstaking negotiations, Democrats are pushing for climate, tax and health care packages that will save key elements of President Biden’s domestic agenda.
While the bill falls short of the ambitious $2.2 trillion Build Better Act that the House passed in November, it will help combat the toll of climate change on a rapidly warming planet and reduce prescription costs. Accomplishing long-standing Democratic goals, including taking steps to lower the It is to amend some of the tax laws to make them fairer.
The contents of the final package are:
This is the largest single US investment to slow global warming.
The bill contains the largest spending ever made by the federal government to slow global warming and reduce demand for fossil fuels, a major contributor to climate change.
It plans to invest about $400 billion over 10 years in tax credits aimed at luring consumers to electric vehicles and promoting renewable energy sources such as wind and solar for power companies.
Energy experts say the move could cut US greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent from 2005 levels over the next decade. That puts the Biden administration one step closer to achieving its goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030. Scientists say more substances will be needed to prevent global warming from becoming dangerously high, but Democrats see it as an important first step. After decades of doing nothing.
At the same time, Democrats agreed to a number of fossil fuel and drilling provisions as a concession to Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a conservative state resister heavily dependent on coal and gas. .
The action guarantees new oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet. It will expand tax credits for carbon capture technologies that allow coal- or gas-fired power plants to continue to operate with lower emissions. It will also require that fossil fuel lease auctions continue if the Home Office plans to approve new wind or solar projects on state-owned land.
Tax credits include $30 billion to accelerate production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and critical mineral processing. $10 billion to build facilities to manufacture electric vehicles, solar panels and more. $500 million through the Defense Production Act for heat pumps and critical mineral processing.
$60 billion available to help disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by climate change, including the first national “green bank” to encourage investment in clean energy projects $27 billion to create what would become The bill would also force oil and gas companies to pay fees as high as $1,500 per tonne to deal with excessive leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, sanctioned by President Donald J. Trump. It will revoke a 10-year moratorium on established offshore wind leases. .
Medicare can negotiate the price of prescription drugs directly to keep costs down.
For the first time, Medicare will be allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, which is projected to save the federal government billions of dollars. This will apply to 10 medicines from 2026 and will be expanded to include more medicines in the years to come.
Opponents say the plan will stifle innovation and the development of new treatments by cutting the profits pharmaceutical companies can put into business, but some liberals believe the policy will take hold. If this package becomes law, it will, predictably, be the largest expansion of federal health policy since the Affordable Care Act was passed.
This package will limit the annual out-of-pocket expense seniors pay for prescription drugs to $2,000 and give them access to free vaccines. Lawmakers also included a rebate if inflation outpaced inflation. (But a senior Senate ruler said the penalty could only apply to Medicare, not private insurers.)
In a series of amendment votes early Sunday morning, Republicans successfully challenged the inclusion of a $35 price cap on insulin for privately insured patients, forcing it to be removed. But another proposal to cap the price of insulin for Medicare patients at $35 a month remained.
Expanded medical subsidies will be extended.
As part of the $1.9 trillion Pandemic Aid Act that Democrats pushed last year, lawmakers agreed to expand the subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act. The proposal would reduce premiums for nearly all Americans dependent on the program’s market, make some plans free for low-income people, or make some plans free for those with higher incomes who were previously unassisted. We have extended some support to .
The package, which could pass the Senate as early as Sunday, extends these subsidies, which expire at the end of this year, for another three years. afraid of backlash.
Wealthy corporations will be taxed higher and the IRS will facilitate financing.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Cinema of Arizona resisted pressure from her party to raise taxes on the country’s richest businesses and individuals.
To avoid raising the tax rate that Mr. Cinema opposed, Democrats instead decided to change the tax code to a much more complex one. It imposes a new minimum corporate tax of 15% on profits that companies report to shareholders. This applies to companies whose financial statements report annual revenues he exceeds $1 billion, but which can take advantage of deductions, deductions and other tax treatments to reduce their effective tax rate.
Mr. Cinema protected deductions that benefit manufacturers. This was successful in demanding changes before committing to move the law forward on Thursday.
She also forced the removal of proposals backed by Democrats and Republicans. The proposal narrowed the tax cuts both hedge funds and the private equity industry use to ensure lower rates than new hires. but that would require at least 10 Republicans to support it.
The bill also strengthens the IRS with an investment of about $80 billion, hoping to recover additional tax revenue by cracking down on wealthy corporations and wealthy tax evaders.
Republicans have historically opposed agency funding, which they say would increase audits and oversight of low-income households. The IRS, meanwhile, dismissed the concerns, telling Congress that “these resources are not for increased audit scrutiny of small businesses and middle-income Americans.”