STORY: The legislation to fight climate change and lower prescription drug prices aims to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions. It will also allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for the elderly and ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay the taxes they owe. Democrats say it will help combat inflation by reducing the federal deficit.
The House voted 220-207 along party lines to pass the measure titled the "Inflation Reduction Act" and send it on to Biden to sign into law. The Senate approved the legislation on Sunday (August 7) after a marathon, 27-hour session.
Democrats hope the legislation will help them at the polls in November, when voters decide the balance of power in Congress ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Republicans are favored to win a majority in the House and could also take control of the Senate.
Biden plans to travel across the country to tout the bill along with a series of other legislative victories at a time when many voters have soured on him amid soaring inflation.
About half of Americans support the climate and drug pricing legislation, including 69% of Democrats and 34% of Republicans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on Aug. 3 and 4.
Business groups have had a mixed reaction to the legislation, which offers the prospect of higher tax bills for some companies while at the same time giving protections to the fossil fuel industry.
Republicans oppose the legislation, warning it will kill jobs by raising corporate tax bills, further fuel inflation with government spending, and inhibit the development of new drugs.
The bill has been more than 18 months in the making. It represents a final version of Biden's original sweeping Build Back Better plan, which had to be whittled down in the face of opposition from Republicans and key legislators from his own party.
The bill's main revenue source is a 15% corporate minimum tax aimed at stopping large, profitable companies from gaming the Internal Revenue Service code to slash their tax bills to zero.