FashionPresident Biden Has Signed a Historic Bill Addressing Climate...

President Biden Has Signed a Historic Bill Addressing Climate Change

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Today, after months of negotiations and an arduous journey through Congress, the Inflation Reduction Act was finally signed into law by President Biden. A $750 billion climate-change, health care, and tax bill, it has quickly come to represent a cornerstone of Biden’s promises—and prospects—ahead of the midterm elections in November. 

At the beginning of August, a marathon debate in the Senate ensued as Republicans attempted to stop the bill’s progress to the House, but its passage was secured after Vice President Kamala Harris delivered her tiebreaker vote to push it over the edge. The final result was 51-50, along party lines.

“Senate Democrats sided with American families over special interests, voting to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs and reduce the deficit, while making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share,” Biden said in a statement earlier this month, shortly after the Senate passed the bill.

The last two months have seen Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer enter fierce negotiations with moderate Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to ensure the bill passed. “We’ve had an extraordinary six weeks,” Schumer told The New York Times recently, while emphasizing the bill was “the most comprehensive piece of legislation affecting the American people in decades.”

Officially titled the Inflation Reduction Act, the bill will tackle issues as wide-ranging as taxes on corporation profits, excise taxes on stock buybacks, and increased investment in tax enforcement. Long-awaited drug reform will also allow Medicare to negotiate drug costs, finally facing up to the outsize influence of the pharmaceutical lobby in setting the prices of prescription medicines.

The revenue raised from these measures will contribute to what is arguably the most important victory of all: a historic investment in combatting climate change. Not only will it be a feather in the cap of the Biden presidency, but it will also mark the most significant action the U.S. has ever taken in that area. The bill will put Biden close to achieving his goal of cutting carbon emissions in half by 2030, besides also offering sweeping tax incentives for those buying electric vehicles and support for those switching to energy suppliers that primarily use wind and solar power.

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