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Washington- President Biden on Thursday hailed a new health, tax and climate package unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, and urged lawmakers to pass the plan which he says will reduce inflation and take significant steps to tackle climate change.

“Put simply, the bill will reduce health care costs for millions of Americans and it will be the most important investment, not hyperbole, the most important investment we have ever made in our security. energy,” Biden said in remarks from the White House, adding that it’s “a big deal.”

Called the Inflation Reduction Act, the plan was announced by Schumer and Manchin Wednesday, capping months of negotiations between the two Democrats that have so far failed to reach an agreement. While Manchin previously expressed concerns about new federal spending amid historic inflation, the West Virginia Democrat said he believes this legislative proposal will address soaring consumer prices by paying down the national debt. and reducing health care and energy costs.

The bill provides $369 billion for energy and climate programs over the next decade and is expected to reduce the federal deficit by $300 billion, according to a summary of the plan released by Senate Democrats. It will also raise about $313 billion by imposing a 15% minimum corporate tax on large corporations, as well as another $124 billion through tax enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service.

The plan also allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extends expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies through 2025.


Biden says Senate bill to fight inflation, cut health care costs and protect the climate is a ‘big deal’

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Highlighting the package’s prescription drug reforms, the president called it a “godsend” for families. Going through climate and energy provisions, he detailed the financial incentives available to US consumers to invest in clean energy technologies.

“This bill would be the most important piece of legislation in history to address the climate crisis and immediately improve our energy security,” he said. “It will give us a tool to achieve the climate goals we have agreed on by reducing emissions and accelerating clean energy – a huge step forward.”

Although narrower than the initial broad domestic policy plan presented by Mr. Biden last year, which stalled in the Senate after talks between Manchin and the White House were derailed in December, the president has expressed support for the new plan and urged speedy adoption by the Senate and House.

“This bill is far from perfect. It’s a trade-off. But that’s often how progress is made, through trade-offs,” the president said. “And the thing is, my message to Congress is this: This is the strongest bill you can pass to reduce inflation, reduce the deficit, reduce health care costs, fight the crisis. climate change and promote energy security, while reducing burdens on working-class and middle-class families.”

Mr Biden continued: “So pass it off. Pass it off as the American people. Pass it off as America.”

The president pledged to continue pushing to make child and elder care more affordable, reduce the cost of preschools and community colleges, and expand Medicaid — proposals that were all included in his sweeping plan. $3.5 trillion in social spending that was cut and finally frozen last year amid Manchin’s pullback.

While the plan unveiled on Wednesday differs greatly from Mr. Biden’s original package and is the result of months of negotiations that have at times gone off the rails and then got back on track, the president acknowledged that the slow pace of the talks will bear fruit.

“I know it can sometimes feel like nothing is getting done in Washington. … The work of government can be slow and frustrating, and sometimes even infuriating,” he said. “Then the hard work of hours, days and months by people who refuse to give up pays off. History is written. Lives are changed. With this legislation we face some of our biggest problems and we take a giant leap forward as a nation.”

The agreement on the spending package provides a boost to Mr Biden’s domestic policy agenda as Democrats seek to maintain their grip on the House and Senate in November’s midterm elections. But Republicans blasted the new plan, saying it will raise taxes and lead to job losses.

The latest figures from the Commerce Department showing the nation gross domestic product fell at an annual rate of 0.9%marking the second consecutive quarter of decline in economic activity.

The contraction fuels concerns that the United States is on the verge of a recessionalthough Mr Biden has sought to play down fears of an economic slowdown, saying in a statement that it is “not surprising that the economy is slowing”, given last year’s economic growth.

The president said the nation was “on the right path and we will go through this transition stronger and safer”.