The Senate on Saturday voted to advance a $700 billion package to address climate change, curb the rising cost of prescription drugs and extend Affordable Care Act benefits.The bill also will make a number of changes to the tax code, including the establishment of a 15% corporate minimum tax, intended to target major conglomerates that avoid paying taxes through a mixture of loopholes and other accounting maneuvers.The legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act, now likely has the votes for final passage, a big victory for a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s agenda, which looked to have stalled out earlier last month.
The vote was 50-50 to bring the legislation to the floor, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the ties.Before it clears the Senate, the legislation will have to go through a lengthy process of debates and what is referred to as vote-a-rama, in which Republicans and Democrats are expected to offer an array of amendments can be offered.
That is expected to last until early in the morning on Sunday. Democrats have been working toward passage of the bill through the intricate legislative process of reconciliation, which allows bills to get to the floor by simple majority rather than the usual 60-vote threshold to avoid a filibuster.Once the legislation passes, it will head to the House, where a vote is scheduled for next Friday.“The Inflation Reduction Act is a groundbreaking bill for the American people: for families struggling to pay the bills, for seniors struggling to pay for medications, for kids struggling with asthma,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on the floor of the Senate before the vote to proceed. “This bill is for them.”Schumer and Sen.Read more on deadline.com