Obama Heaps Praise On Biden For His Monumental Legislative Success

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This weekend, the Senate passed a sweeping legislative initiative containing key agenda items in fields from healthcare to climate policy. Former President Barack Obama rallied Americans behind the measure in remarks posted to Twitter.

“The Inflation Reduction Act that just passed the Senate is a major accomplishment,” the former president said on Sunday. “Not only will it reduce inflation and lower the cost of prescription drugs – it also happens to be the most consequential piece of climate legislation in American history. Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, people’s bills will get smaller, their lives will get longer, and we’ll have a real shot at avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. That’s something Democrats everywhere can and should be proud of.” After months of on-again, off-again negotiations and progress among Democrats, the measure was passed in the Senate on Sunday without the need for a single GOP vote. Budget reconciliation initiatives only need a simple majority, and Dems hold that in the chamber.

The expansive legislation contains the largest federal investment in fighting climate change in U.S. history. As summarized by The New York Times in an article to which Obama linked in his comments on Twitter, the plan, once enacted, puts nearly $400 billion over 10 years towards tax credits supporting electric vehicles and the usage of renewable energy in the production of electricity. “Energy experts said the measure would help the United States to cut greenhouse gas emissions about 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade,” as the Times explained it. The bill also puts $27 billion behind the establishment of an inaugural national “green bank” to support investments in clean energy initiatives, with a focus on lower-income communities. As for other policy areas, like healthcare, the measure will finally allow Medicare to directly negotiate the cost of (certain) prescription medications with the companies providing them.

The legislation also includes a cap (of $2,000) on the yearly amount those on Medicare will be personally paying for prescription meds. That limit will take effect in 2025. Other areas covered by the legislation include tax policy, an area the bill addressed through means such as tens of billions in new funding for IRS operations, which could help the agency go after wealthy interests avoiding paying their taxes. The bill, which cleared its main hurdle with its passage in the Senate over the weekend and is now set for likely House passage and a later presidential signature, is among a list of policy accomplishments by Biden and Dem leaders in Congress. Members of Congress also recently approved a widely touted bill with hundreds of billions for the U.S. tech industry, prioritizing the domestic production of a key tech component called semiconductor chips. That bill is poised to provide benefits like lower prices (because of easier access to important items) and a boost to the U.S. jobs market.