The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a sweeping $430-billion bill intended to fight climate change, lower drug prices and raise some corporate taxes.
The Senate passed the budget reconciliation bill by a 51-50 party line vote on August 7. After clearing the lower chamber by a vote of 220 to 207 along party lines, the bill now heads to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.
Democrats had been eager to push through their domestic policy ambitions before the mid-term elections, but Republicans strongly opposed the bill, arguing that tax increases would impose burdens on U.S. businesses and workers and hurt the economy.
"You can't tax and spend your way out of an inflation crisis," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, blaming the Biden administration's policies for the worst inflation in four decades.
The bill includes a roughly $400-billion investment in fighting climate change, measures to make prescription drugs more affordable, and a 15-percent minimum tax on most corporations that make more than $1 billion per year, which will bring in more than $300 billion in new revenue, according to Democrats.
The bill is scaled down from the $3.5-trillion "Build Back Better" package Biden and many Democrats envisioned last year.
(With input from agencies)
(Cover: Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives applaud and celebrate after the House passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., U.S., August 12, 2022. /CFP)