After a marathon vote-a-rama session lasting more than 15 hours, the Senate passed the Democrats’ taxation and social spending bill Sunday. This was a significant win for Democrats just three months prior to Election Day.
Kamala Harris, Vice President, cast a tiebreaking vote that allowed the legislation to pass 51-50
“It’s the biggest package for climate. It deals with energy policy to make sense in this country, lowers energy costs, lowers health care costs for millions, and does so in a way that reduces deficit and has tax fairness within our code,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told Fox News Digital. It’s a wonderful day and we are very excited about it.
Fox News Digital, R-Mo., said that “This is a night full of victory for them.” “Schumer had the longest 50-50 Senate ever.” He has also managed to pass almost all their priority priorities.”
Hawley said, “And with, by and large, the most unpopular President of my lifetime.” Hawley also pointed out that some Democrats’ agenda items were passed with GOP support.
The culmination of over a year-long intra-party negotiations between Democrats to pass a party line bill is bill passage. They used budget reconciliation to bypass the Senate filibuster.
Even though they avoided the filibuster Democrats encountered a major problem towards the end of their attempt to pass it. If they were subsidiaries of firms worth more than $1 billion, a drafting issue could have raised taxes on companies less than the Democrats’ $1 billion threshold.
The issue was addressed by Sen. John Thune (Republican from South Dakota), who introduced an amendment that would have cost $35 billion. His proposal would have been funded by an extension of the SALT (state and local tax) deduction limit for one year. This would have made it difficult to pass the final bill because many Northeast Democrats hate the SALT cap.
Thune’s amendment was approved by the Senate. The Senate passed Thune’s amendment. However, it altered the payment method by using an amendment from Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) to replace the SALT limit with “a two-year extension of a loss limitation policy.” With Harris’ support, the amendment was passed and made it possible for final passage.
Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), hailed the legislation as a major victory for the U.S.
He stated, “I am confident that the inflation Reduction Act is going to be remembered as one of 21st century’s most important legislative achievements.”
Initially called “Build Back Better” during talks last year, and slated to cost more than $3 Trillion, moderate party members like Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) resisted the huge spending. To the dismay of Schumer and party progressives, Manchin ended talks in December.
Manchin negotiated a modified version of the “Inflation Reduction Act” in recent days. Manchin approached moderate Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to join the board. She did so after minor modifications.
The bill generates more than $700billion in tax revenue, and spends more than $400 billion. It includes the extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies, a series of climate-related spending credits and tax credits, and provisions on fossil fuel energy. There is also a 15% minimum corporate income tax rate.
However, Democrats had to overcome the vote-arama before they could pass the legislation through the Senate. Republicans were able to introduce unrestricted politically charged amendments to try to inject poison into the bill, or force Democrats to vote hard.
However, Democrats were united in every vote to preserve the bill, which Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said was a testimony to the widespread support of the legislation.
“I think that you’ll be amazed at how many of these amends receive unanimous ….,” Coons said. Coons stated this near the start of the process. “Much more than what I’ve seen at previous vote-aramas.”
Hawley stated, “They’re just Steamrolling Tonight.”
Although the vote-arama did not produce any substantive changes to the bill’s text, it did provide some interesting campaign material for 2022. Republicans forced Democrats to vote on Title 42 immigration policy and energy taxes, which were both difficult issues for them. This issue is one that many Democrats running for reelection publicly disagree with the White House on.
Both cases saw Democrats defeat the GOP amendments by a unanimous vote of 50-50, before they introduced similar amendments that require 60 votes to pass. This allowed moderates and Democrats in difficult reelection races to vote yes on those amendments knowing that they wouldn’t pass.
The Republicans criticized the move as dishonest.
Fox News Digital was told by John Thune (Senate Minority Whip), that “it’s a very cynical scheme for sure.” After you voted against it at 51, vote for one at 60. Nothing around me surprises me.”
Fox News Digital was also informed by Rick Scott, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, that “they’re completely deceitful.”
“This gives phony, cynical, a bad name. “They wouldn’t allow you to do this in professional wrestling,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said. “If people think they are so dumb, you will be sadly wrong.”
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), who is up for reelection, responded to Graham’s criticisms in floor remarks.
She said, “I’ll only note the inaccuracy on the floor regarding the substance of this.”
The bill’s substance was also criticised by Republicans, who pointed out that it increases taxes in times of recession and that it does not have an important effect on inflation.
Democrats accuse Republicans of bringing all their amendments in bad faith, while Republicans are being accused by Democrats. Manchin stated before the final vote that he wouldn’t support any GOP amendments, as Republicans are planning to vote against it unanimously.
“[M]y R friends made it clear that they are completely unable to support this bill in any way. Their amendments will not change this. “For this reason, I’ll vote for integrity of [Inflation Reduction Act] regardless the substance of their fake amends,” Manchin tweeted Saturday.
On Friday, the House of Representatives will return to Washington, D.C. to pass the bill and send it to President Biden.