US Senate Democrats were due yesterday to push a bill that would address a key element of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Senators ruled that most of the $430 billion bill’s health care provisions could be passed by a simple majority, sidestepping the filibuster rule requiring 60 votes in a 100-seat chamber to advance most legislation, and the Democrats. allowed the bill to pass. Republican opposition, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, said in a statement.
The Senate started its unusual weekend session around noon (1600 GMT).
The arduous process began this weekend and could continue into early next week, with senators rolling out amendments in a lengthy “vote.”
Democrats hope the bill will boost candidates in the November 8 midterm elections.
Democrats introduced the bill as a way to combat inflation, a top concern for US voters this year.
“Democrats have received very good news,” Schumer said in a statement. “Medicare will finally be allowed to negotiate drug prices…this is a big win for the American people.”
Medicare is the government’s health insurance program for older adults and certain Americans with disabilities.
The bill’s tax provisions have three main parts. A minimum tax rate of 15% for corporations and closing loopholes that the wealthy can use to avoid paying taxes. Enhanced IRS (Internal Revenue Service) enforcement. And a new excise tax on share buybacks.
The legislation generated $430 billion in new spending and more than $740 billion in new revenue.
In addition to billions of dollars to encourage the production and purchase of more electric vehicles and to promote clean energy, the bill would set up $4 billion for a new federal drought relief fund.
The latter is a move that could help the re-election campaigns of Democratic Senators Katherine Cortez Mast of Nevada and Mark Kelly of Arizona.
Senator Tom Carper, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the climate clause, which includes a program to reduce methane emissions, was approved by senators.
Republicans have pledged to do everything they can to block or block the bill, and Sen. Lindsay Graham said Friday that the Democrat-backed bill would be “this (war) they’re taxing and spending.” ’ he called.
Democrats have sought to push the bill into the Senate using an arcane and complicated “reconciliation” procedure, allowing it to pass without Republican support in a chamber split 50-50 between parties, and Kamala Harris. Democrats are in control as the Vice President could be a draw. -preliminary report.
If one provision was removed from the bill, drug companies would have been forced to pay back both government and private health care plans if drug prices rose faster than inflation.
Members of parliament ruled that the measure was not applicable to private industry.
Left-wing senators such as Bernie Sanders are likely to try to expand the scope of the bill to include new programs such as federal subsidies for childcare and home health care for the elderly.
Republicans are suggesting a number of amendments, touching on another issue, immigration coming across the US border with Mexico.
Several Democratic senators said they would vote against all amendments for fear that the carefully negotiated deal would fall apart.
Democratic Senator Brian Schatz tweeted, “I will vote against all amendments, even the ones I like. I can think of many ways to strengthen it. I will not derail this bill by supporting change.”
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/722310/US-Senate-Democrats-get-green-light-for-430bn-clim US Senate Democrats get go-ahead for $430 billion climate, health care spending