Washington – The US Senate managed to approve this Sunday the ambitious climate, health and fiscal plan of the Democrats, which includes investments of billions of dollars in clean energy in the next ten years, in a vote in the one that required all the progressive votes of the Upper House plus the tiebreaker of its president, the vice president of the country, Kamala Harris.

The Inflation Reduction Act, the official name of the project, went ahead thanks to the voting discipline of the Democratic senators, who endured a marathon session of more than 20 hours of debate and amendments in which the Republicans tried to force votes politically. difficult with the intention of demolishing the progressive consensus.

“It’s been a long, hard road, but we’re finally at the end,” Senate Democrats leader Chuck Schumer said triumphantly, moments before voting began.

The project went ahead despite the passage of one of the last Republican amendments, aimed at limiting the collection of a minimum tax of 15% to companies that earn more than a billion dollars, thanks to the support of the wayward Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema, which raised fears for the future of the agreement.

There were also some amendments from Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders to try to tilt some of the climate and health aspects of the program further to the left, but all were rejected in order to keep the bill as intact as possible and thus ensure the support of all progressives.

Despite the complicated process, the parliamentary group managed to stick together and voted in unison for the plan, including fractious senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, whose recent support for the proposal revived a plan thought dead until just over a year ago. week.

The project required the affirmative vote of all the Democratic representatives to go forward, since all the Republicans were against it.

Currently, the Senate is divided 50-50 between progressives and conservatives, although the Democrats have the tiebreaker vote of the US vice president, who acts as president of the chamber.

The Inflation Reduction Law contemplates more than 400,000 million dollars in new investments, almost all focused on giving a boost to the green energy industry in the country and reducing polluting gas emissions.

It would represent the largest public investment against climate change in the history of the United States. Its supporters estimate that it will serve to reduce the country’s polluting emissions by 40% between now and 2030.

To finance it, the Democrats propose a minimum tax of 15% on companies with profits of more than a billion dollars, and strengthen the tax collection agency to make it more difficult to avoid payments, among other things.

In addition, the plan would allow Medicare, a health coverage program for people over 65, to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs.

The White House hopes that this will reduce drug prices and help in part to reduce the pressures of high inflation, from 9.1% in June, as well as helping to reduce the public deficit.

“This is legislation for families who can’t make ends meet, for the elderly who can’t afford their medications, and for children with asthma,” Schumer defended as he introduced the proposal Saturday afternoon.

Republicans argued, however, that the plan will only serve to increase inflation, and that the tax hikes will end up hurting the middle and working classes more than big corporations.

The Inflation Reduction Law must now pass through the House of Representatives, where the Democrats have a large majority, before being definitively approved.

This Saturday’s vote in the Senate is a great victory for Biden and his party, just a few months before the November legislative elections are held, in which many predict a loss of power for the progressives against the conservatives.

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