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The Senate on Sunday passed the Democrats’ social spending and tax bill after a marathon “rama vote” session that lasted more than 15 hours, marking a big win for the Democrats’ agenda just over three months before Election Day.
Vice President Harris cast a break vote to allow the legislation to pass 51-50.
“I mean, it’s the biggest ever climate package, it takes energy policy to make sense for his country, it lowers the cost of energy, it lowers health care costs for millions of Americans, and it does it in a way that reduces deficits,” Senator Ben Cardin, D-Democrat, told Fox News Digital. “It’s an amazing day, and we’re very excited about it.”
Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Mo. , to Fox News Digital: “This is a night of victory for them.” “Schumer has had the longest 50-50 Senate in history. And he’s been able to achieve nearly all of their distinct priorities.”
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And, by the way, with the unpopular president in my life, Hawley added.
The passage of the bill is the culmination of more than a year of intra-party negotiations between Democrats trying to pass a party bill. They used a process called budget compromise, which allows them to get around the Senate’s block, to do just that.
But even as procrastination is avoided, Democrats still face a major hiccup at the end of their efforts to pass it. The drafting case could have raised taxes on companies worth less than the $1 billion threshold that Democrats intended if they were subsidiaries of a company worth more than that amount.
Senator John Thune, RS.D, introduced an amendment to deal with the issue, which cost $35 billion. But his offer would have been paid for by extending the state and local tax deduction cap (SALT) by one year. This would have led to a complicated passage of the final bill, since many Democrats in the Northeast dislike the cap on the Small Arms Reduction Treaty.
The Senate passed the Thun Amendment. But it changed the way to pay for it using an amendment from Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, to replace the SALT cap with a “two-year extension of the so-called loss reduction policy.” This modification was passed with the help of Harris, and paved the way for the final pass.
After the last second drama, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York State called the legislation a major victory for the United States.
“I am confident that the inflation-reduction law that will continue is one of the defining legislative achievements of the 21st century,” he said.
Initially called “Building Back Better” at the start of talks last year and proposed to cost more than $3 trillion, party moderates such as Senator Joe Manchin, Deutsche Welle, pushed back massive spending. Manchin eventually suspended the talks last December, thwarting the progress of the party and Schumer.
But Manchin has approved a reduced version in recent days called the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Manchin pressed fellow moderate Senator Kirsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, to join the ship, which she did Thursday after some minor changes.
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The bill collects more than $700 billion in tax revenue and spends more than $400 billion. Key elements include an extension of Affordable Care Act support, a suite of climate-related spending and tax credits, provisions on fossil fuel energy, a lower 15% corporate tax rate and more.
Before the Democrats could get the legislation to liquidate the Senate, they needed to bypass the Rama vote. This provided an opportunity for Republicans to introduce unlimited politically charged amendments in an effort to either inject poison pills into the bill or at least force Democrats to take tough votes.
But Democrats remained united in every major vote to keep the bill intact, something Democratic Senator Chris Coons said was evidence of Democrats’ broad support for the legislation.
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“I think you’d be surprised how many of these amendments have gained consensus … the votes of a party line are really clear,” Koons said near the start of the process. “Much more than I saw in the previous rammer’s vote.”
“They’re only commuting tonight,” Hawley said.
The Rama vote didn’t produce major substantive changes to the bill, but it did produce some interesting material for the 2022 campaign. Republicans forced Democrats into a tough vote on energy taxes and immigration policy from Title 42—an issue on which some Democratic re-election candidates have publicly split from the House. the White.
In both cases, Democrats unanimously defeated the GOP’s amendments by 50-50 votes on the party line before introducing similar amendments that procedurally required a 60-vote pass. This freed moderates and Democrats into tough re-election races to vote for these amendments, knowing they would not pass.
Republicans attacked these moves as dishonest.
“It’s definitely a very cynical stunt,” Senator John Thune, a minority senator, told Fox News Digital. “Vote for one at 60 after I just voted against it at 51. But nothing here surprises me.”
“They are totally disingenuous,” Republican Senate National Committee Chairman Rick Scott told Fox News Digital.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R.S. “If you thought people were so stupid, you would be unfortunately wrong.”
Senator Maggie Hassan, DNH, who is being nominated for re-election, retracted Graham’s criticism in the floor notes.
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“I will only point out the inaccuracy of what has been said on the ground about the gist of this,” she said.
Republicans have also criticized the substance of the bill, including that it raises taxes during a recession and that many outside observers say it will not have a significant impact on inflation.
Meanwhile, Democrats accuse Republicans of introducing all of their amendments with bad faith. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va said. , it’s before the final vote that he won’t support any GOOP amendments because Republicans plan to vote unanimously against the bill.
“[M]y R’s friends have made it clear that they are totally unwilling to back this bill under any circumstances. None of their modifications will change that. For this reason, I will vote to protect the integrity [Inflation Reduction Act] Regardless of the content of their bogus edits,” Manchin tweeted on Saturday.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., on Friday to pass the bill and send it to President Biden’s office.