Biden signs expansive health, climate and tax law

WASHINGTON – President Biden signed a long-awaited bill Tuesday aimed at lowering health care costs, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and raising taxes on corporations and wealthy investors, capping more than a year of on-and-off negotiations. and cementing its early economic economy. legacy.

“This bill is the biggest step toward climate change ever seen,” Biden said, after receiving a standing ovation from a White House crowd packed mostly with advisers and allies.

The bill, which Democrats have dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, spends $370 billion in spending and tax credits on low-emission forms of energy to combat climate change. It extends federal health insurance subsidies, allows the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors on Medicare, and is expected to reduce the federal budget deficit by about $300 billion over 10 years.

The legislation would increase taxes by about $300 billion, much of it by imposing new levies on large corporations. The law includes a new tax on certain corporate stock buybacks and a minimum tax on large companies that use deductions and other methods to reduce their taxes. It also bolsters funding for the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to crack down on tax evasion and potentially raise hundreds of billions of dollars that are currently owed to the government but not paid by corporations and high-income individuals.

Earlier this month, the House and Senate passed it in full along party lines as Democrats used a legislative process to circumvent a Republican filibuster.

The bill represents the largest investment by the United States to fight climate change. His goal is to help the United States reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. That would put the country within striking distance of Biden’s goal of cutting emissions by at least one 50% during that period.

For months, it looked like Biden might not have any bills to sign. Despite scoring bipartisan victories in funding infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water systems and high-speed Internet, and an industrial policy bill aimed at countering China, the president was unable to rally his party in a final bill to carry as much of the rest of his economic agenda as possible using only Democratic votes.

But a last-minute compromise reached between Senators Chuck Schumer of New York, a Democrat and Majority Leader, and a reluctant centrist Democrat, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, paved the way for the deal to go ahead. Manchin, Schumer and other lawmakers joined Biden at Tuesday’s signing.

“For anyone who thought Washington was broken and couldn’t do great things, the Democrats have shown that real change is possible,” Schumer said, before Biden’s comments.

Mr. Biden nodded to Mr. Manchin in his comments. “Joe,” he said, “I never had a doubt.”

emily cochrane, Michael D. Shear Y Lisa Friedmann contributed report.

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