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A comprehensive economic package worth $700 billion that contains significant tax, tax-related, and climate change legislation has been approved by the U.S. Senate. By raising corporate taxes, decreasing carbon emissions, and lowering the cost of some medications, the law aims to address these issues.
Prior to the mid-term elections, the passage of the law, a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s plan, is encouraging. However, the $3.5 trillion package that his administration initially suggested has been greatly reduced.
On Sunday, Vice-President Kamala Harris gave the final vote in favor of the bill, which had been the subject of 18 months of bitter debate. Before this, two Democratic senators opposed it due to the cost they shared with Republicans. For the president to sign the bill into law, it must now pass a vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The vote is scheduled for this Friday.
As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the government is given the authority to bargain for cheaper costs for prescription drugs covered by the Medicare health insurance program for anyone over 65. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that this will save hundreds of billions of dollars over the following ten years.
A minimum 15% tax on corporations with profits over $1 billion per year is also included in the plan. Business groups oppose that law, arguing that it will restrict investment. It has generated a lot of controversy throughout congressional deliberations.
The law also includes $369 billion for climate action, the largest investment ever made in the field in the U.S.
Tax credits of between $4,000 to $7,500 for used and new electric cars could be given to some households to help them purchase electric vehicles. Additionally, hundreds of millions of dollars will be used to hasten the manufacturing of clean technology, such as solar and wind energy. Additionally, $60 billion will be shared in areas where pollution from fossil fuels has disproportionately harmed residents.
By 2030, the country’s carbon emissions will be reduced by 40%, according to the bill’s writers.
The climate change initiative comes as the U.S. endures extreme weather, including recent terrible flooding in Kentucky and a heatwave that claimed hundreds of lives. On Monday, the state’s flood-affected areas were visited by President Biden.
Several variables cause flooding, but one of them is the likelihood of excessive rainfall due to a warming atmosphere brought on by climate change.
Since the start of the industrial period, the world’s temperature has already increased by around 1.1C, and unless governments all over the world drastically reduce emissions, temperatures will continue to rise.
The bill, the result of one year of laborious work, is for Americans who no longer have faith in Congress, according to Democratic Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer.
The advancement of the bill is expected to be stalled or blocked, according to several Republicans.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida claimed that it was out of touch because it did not contribute to lowering prices for working people or keeping criminals behind bars, “the things working people in this nation worry about.”
After reaching compromises with two important Democratic holdouts, Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, on the original, more ambitious proposal, Congress discussed the altered version of the measure on Saturday.
The initial law could have increased inflation, according to Mr. Manchin’s concerns.
The U.S. will again take the lead internationally on climate action, according to President Biden, who called the bill “historic.” In April of last year, he made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
Last month, he announced $2.2 billion to assist in the construction of infrastructure that can endure severe weather and natural calamities.
The U.S. is spearheading a climate change crusade
This isn’t the all-singing, all-dancing climate mega-bill Joe Biden promised when he ran for president, but if it succeeds, it will be the most aggressive step the U.S. has ever made to attempt to stop the globe from warming.
Further consequences could result from the indirect effect.
John Kerry, the climate envoy for President Biden, has been working nonstop to convince other nations to increase their goals for combating climate change.
But there was a credibility problem for the U.S.
One Democratic senator said, “you can’t preach temperance from a bar stool.”
He’s saying that until you’re cutting emissions yourselves, you can’t ask Brazil, China, or India to do so.
That’s still a huge request, and the current relationship with China is very tense. In response to top Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, Beijing, for instance, declared that it would no longer cooperate on climate change.
The expectation is that worldwide efforts to combat global warming will be reenergized, with the U.S. setting the bar high by leading by example.