The United States Senate approved this Sunday the Democrats’ climate, health and fiscal plan, which includes investments of hundreds of billions of dollars in clean energy over the next ten years.
A Inflation Reduction Act (official name of the project), received the green light after a session of more than 20 hours of debate and presentation of amendments, in which Republicans sought to force votes politically difficult, as a way of overturning the consensus among progressive currents.
The bill advanced despite the approval of one of the last republican amendments, aimed at limiting the collection of a minimum tax of 15% of companies with profits of more than US$ 1 billion, thanks to the support of Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who raised fears about the future of the agreement.
There were also some amendments by Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, to try to shift some of the climate and health aspects of the program to the left, but all s were rejected in order to keep the text as intact as possible, thus ensuring the support of all progressives.
The tie-breaking vote was given by Vice President Kamala Harris
Unity was necessary, as all Republican senators were against the bill. Currently, the Senate is split in half between progressives and conservatives, with Democrats having the tiebreaker vote for the country’s vice president, Kamala Harris.
The Inflation Reduction Act provides for more than US $400 billion in new investments, almost all focused on boosting the US green energy industry and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
This would be the biggest package against climate change in the country’s history. Supporters estimate that it will serve to reduce pollutant emissions by about 40% by 2030.
Tax on billion dollar companies will fund project
To fund the project, Democrats propose a minimum tax of 15% for companies with higher profits to $1 billion, plus a boost to the tax collection agency to make evasion more difficult.
In addition, the plan would allow Medicare – a health coverage program for people over 65 years old – can negotiate the prices of prescription drugs.
The White House hopes this will lower drug prices and help, in part, , in reducing the pressures of high inflation, which reached 9.1% in June, in addition to contributing to the reduction of the public deficit