Senate lawmakers have signed off on key climate and health care provisions in Democrats. major spending bill,
The decisions by the chamber’s nonpartisan rules defender Elizabeth McDonough come ahead of an expected vote on Saturday afternoon to begin debate on a $739 billion climate, health care and tax package titled “The Inflation Reduction Act.”
Democrats are using a fast-track process known as conciliation to get the bill passed through a simple majority. Senate MPs are responsible for issuing opinions on whether the provisions meet the conditions of the budget reconciliation rules.
Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the Senate Finance Committee’s clean energy tax package — a large part of the bill — follows chamber rules.
The Inflation Reduction Act sets aside $369 billion for climate, most of which will go toward tax credits to promote clean energy technologies. Includes consumer tax credits for Americans to “improve household energy efficiency” and for those who buy electric vehicles.
It also provides tax credits to clean energy developers who pay their employees prevailing wages.
“I am particularly pleased that our existing wage provisions have been approved,” Widen said in a statement. “These provisions guarantee wage rates for clean energy projects. Clean energy jobs will be well-paying jobs.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., also announced Saturday that lawmakers signed most of the drug pricing provisions into the Inflation Reduction Act, except for a prescription cost-reducing program Democrats wanted to include. .
“Democrats have great news: For the first time ever, Medicare will finally be allowed to negotiate drug prices, seniors will have free vaccines and their costs will be limited, and much more. It’s a huge win for the American people. is,” Schumer said in a statement.
The law would allow the federal health secretary to directly negotiate the prices of some expensive drugs for Medicare from 2026. It would also be an out-of-pocket cost for those who use Medicare drug plans at $2,000.
In an effort to keep costs down, Democrats wanted to punish drug companies for raising the prices of some prescription drugs faster than inflation. But, according to a familiar source, the MP ruled that these penalties cannot be applied to individuals with private health insurance. They will remain in effect for Medicare.
Schumer said, “While there was an unfortunate decision that the scope of inflation rebate is more limited, the overall program remains in place and we are one step closer to finally taking on Big Pharma and reducing Rx drug prices for millions of Americans.” “
Schumer said earlier this week that the first vote on the spending bill is expected on Saturday afternoon.
The move to move forward, if passed, would trigger debate on the bill and give MPs an opportunity to vote on amendments called “vote-a-ram”.
Republicans have pledged to bring amendments to issues related to immigration, crime and energy. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.C., told reporters Friday that the voting session would be “hell.”
President Joe Biden praised movement on the bill on Friday, saying Democrats were “on improvement” to pass the “most important step” to tackle inflation.
“In short, this bill is a game changer for working families and our economy,” he said. “I expect the Senate to take up this law and pass it as soon as possible.”