C-SPAN showing passage of Inflation Reduction Act
C-SPAN showing passage of Inflation Reduction Act

The Amer­i­can peo­ple won a huge vic­to­ry today when the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives adopt­ed the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act approved by the Unit­ed States Sen­ate last Sun­day, send­ing the his­toric cli­mate and health focused leg­is­la­tion to the desk of Pres­i­dent Joe Biden to be signed into law.

220 Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­bers of the House vot­ed to pass the bill, while 207 Repub­li­cans vot­ed against the leg­is­la­tion. Four Repub­li­cans skipped the vote, but the entire Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus held togeth­er with no defectors.

The roll call from the Pacif­ic North­west was there­fore along par­ty lines:

Vot­ing Yea to Pass the Bill: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Suzan Del­Bene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Prami­la Jaya­pal, Kim Schri­er, Adam Smith, and Mar­i­lyn Strick­land (WA), Suzanne Bonam­i­ci, Earl Blu­me­nauer, Pete DeFazio, and Kurt Schrad­er (OR)

Vot­ing Nay Against the Bill: Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jaime Her­rera Beut­ler, Dan New­house, and Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers (WA), Cliff Bentz (OR), Russ Fulcher and Mike Simp­son (ID), Matt Rosendale (MT)

Note: Alas­ka is cur­rent­ly unrep­re­sent­ed in the Unit­ed States House. 

As sum­ma­rized by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schri­er’s office, the bill helps fam­i­lies by:

  • Allow­ing Medicare to nego­ti­ate low­er drug prices
  • Cap­ping annu­al out of pock­et costs for Medicare recip­i­ents at $2,000, sav­ing them thou­sands of dol­lars a year
  • Cap­ping insulin costs for seniors at $35/month
  • Penal­iz­ing drug com­pa­nies for unfair­ly hik­ing prices
  • Invest­ing in for­est resilien­cy to pre­vent cat­a­stroph­ic wildfires
  • Sup­port­ing small for­est landown­ers to improve for­est health
  • Fund­ing cli­mate-smart agri­cul­ture programs
  • Boost­ing clean ener­gy man­u­fac­tur­ing in the U.S.
  • Cre­at­ing cred­its for new and used elec­tric vehicles
  • Invest­ing in a reli­able 21st Cen­tu­ry elec­tric grid
  • Pro­vid­ing home ener­gy effi­cien­cy rebates
  • Reduc­ing air pol­lu­tion by pro­vid­ing fund­ing to ports to reduce emis­sions, and crack­ing down on oil and gas com­pa­nies that have sig­nif­i­cant methane leakage

“Thank you to all of our Mem­bers for the uni­ty, opti­mism and per­sis­tence you have brought to this fight,” said Speak­er Nan­cy Pelosi in a Dear Col­league con­grat­u­la­to­ry let­ter. “This his­toric achieve­ment would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the lead­er­ship of House Democ­rats, who laid the foun­da­tion for many of the life-sav­ing and life-chang­ing pro­vi­sions in this bill.”

“Proud­ly, this leg­is­la­tion is a giant step for­ward in Pres­i­dent Biden and Democ­rats’ relent­less com­mit­ment to jus­tice: from eco­nom­ic and health equi­ty to tax fair­ness to envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice.  And in keep­ing with Democ­rats’ fis­cal respon­si­bil­i­ty, all of these mon­u­men­tal invest­ments are ful­ly paid for – ensur­ing the biggest cor­po­ra­tions and ultra-rich tax cheats pay their fair share.”

More is needed, but this bill is a breakthrough

NPI sup­ports the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act. There is much more we need to do if we are to suc­ceed in com­bat­ing the cli­mate crisis.

But with this leg­is­la­tion, we’ve won some­thing impor­tant: the first ever bicam­er­al vote in Con­gress to pass a most­ly cli­mate and health focused bill. This tru­ly is a break­through. Some­times, the first step is the hard­est. We’ve now tak­en that first step. It was­n’t easy: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sine­ma aren’t team play­ers and aren’t con­cerned with the future of the Earth, our com­mon home. Their objec­tions had to be over­come and their demands for con­ces­sions satisfied.

There are some bad pro­vi­sions in the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act. But those are out­weighed by invest­ments we have long need­ed very badly.

A more pro­gres­sive Con­gress could fol­low up on the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act with leg­is­la­tion that gets us clos­er to where we need to be.

We don’t know if that Con­gress will exist next year yet, or whether the next Con­gress will be dom­i­nat­ed by wor­shipers of Don­ald Trump.

The peo­ple of the Unit­ed States face a stark choice this year. They can elect a Con­gress that will make more progress or they can elect a Con­gress that will be total­ly con­sumed by con­flict and con­fronta­tion with the exec­u­tive branch.

Vice President Harris’ statement

“Thanks to Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s lead­er­ship, and the hard work of Major­i­ty Leader Schumer and Speak­er Pelosi, the Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act is off to the Pres­i­den­t’s desk,” said Vice Pres­i­dent Kamala Har­ris, who cast the tiebreak­ing fifty-first vote.

“Because of this, we will low­er the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs for our seniors and reduce health insur­ance pre­mi­ums for thir­teen mil­lion Americans.”

“We will make the largest invest­ment in our nation’s his­to­ry to address the cli­mate cri­sis, cre­at­ing good-pay­ing, union jobs in wind, solar, and elec­tric vehi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing. We will low­er ener­gy bills for work­ing fam­i­lies and sup­port envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice. And, the leg­is­la­tion is ful­ly paid for by final­ly ensur­ing the wealth­i­est cor­po­ra­tions pay their fair share. This is an his­toric achieve­ment for our coun­try that will direct­ly ben­e­fit mil­lions of Americans.”

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly, not a sin­gle Repub­li­can in Con­gress vot­ed for the pack­age. Not a sin­gle Repub­li­can vot­ed to low­er the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs, reduce health insur­ance pre­mi­ums, make invest­ments to address the cli­mate cri­sis, tack­le infla­tion, or require the wealth­i­est cor­po­ra­tions to pay their fair share.”

“In the eigh­teen months since Pres­i­dent Biden and I took office, we have cre­at­ed near­ly ten mil­lion jobs, and helped to res­cue small busi­ness­es; begun upgrad­ing our roads and bridges and remov­ing lead pipes; and we are mak­ing sure high-speed inter­net is avail­able and acces­si­ble for all Amer­i­cans. There is more work to do. But it is clear our nation is mov­ing in the right direction.”

“These achieve­ments reflect the deter­mi­na­tion of the Amer­i­can peo­ple and the vision Pres­i­dent Biden and I laid out at the begin­ning of our Admin­is­tra­tion to take on the chal­lenges of today and build a strong, pros­per­ous future for America.”

DNC celebrates passage

“What a week! We did what we always do: we stood with the Amer­i­can peo­ple, fight­ing to low­er costs and address their every­day needs,” said DNC Chair Jaime Har­ri­son. “Rather than join us, Repub­li­cans sided with big cor­po­ra­tions and wealthy spe­cial inter­ests. They turned their backs on mid­dle-class folks.”

“With­out a sin­gle Repub­li­can vote, Democ­rats in Con­gress took on spe­cial inter­ests and won. They took deci­sive action to low­er the cost of pre­scrip­tion drugs, low­er ener­gy costs, and low­er health care costs. They vot­ed to reduce the deficit to help fight infla­tion. Democ­rats also took aggres­sive action to fight the cli­mate cri­sis that will cre­ate jobs and increase our ener­gy secu­ri­ty. Final­ly, they made sure large cor­po­ra­tions and bil­lion­aire tax cheats would pay their fair share in tax­es, with­out mid­dle-class fam­i­lies pay­ing a pen­ny more in taxes.”

“While Repub­li­cans in Con­gress and across the coun­try pur­sue an ultra-MAGA agen­da at the expense of work­ing fam­i­lies, Democ­rats keep mak­ing progress on the every­day issues that mat­ter to Amer­i­can families.”

“The list is long: health care for vet­er­ans who served brave­ly, an his­toric eco­nom­ic recov­ery and job growth, smart invest­ments to bring back Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ing and win the eco­nom­ic com­pe­ti­tion of the 21st cen­tu­ry, a once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion infra­struc­ture invest­ment, the first major gun safe­ty leg­is­la­tion in decades, and so much more.”

“Democ­rats are get­ting it done. We’re con­tin­u­ing to deliv­er for the Amer­i­can peo­ple on a his­toric scale. The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee is excit­ed and ready to make sure every vot­er across the coun­try knows it.”

NGA: Young voters helped secure passage

“Today’s his­toric move to com­bat cli­mate change would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the orga­niz­ing pow­er of young peo­ple who have turned out and vot­ed in record num­bers to advance bold cli­mate leg­is­la­tion,” said NextGen Amer­i­ca Pres­i­dent Cristi­na Tzintzún Ramirez.

“As we approach the midterms, let today serve as a warn­ing – young peo­ple can and will decide the future of our country.”

“Over sev­en­ty mil­lion Amer­i­cans ages 18–35 are now eli­gi­ble to vote, mak­ing them the largest vot­ing bloc in the coun­try. Young peo­ple have the pow­er in num­bers to vote out extrem­ist Repub­li­cans who would rather answer to cor­po­rate greed than the needs of their com­mu­ni­ties – and they’ll be vot­ing for peo­ple that rep­re­sent their vision for a green-ener­gy future.”

Excerpt from Kim Schrier’s statement

“This bill brings much need­ed relief to my con­stituents who are feel­ing the weight of infla­tion and high gas prices,” said U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schri­er, D‑WA-08.

“It helps fam­i­lies con­tin­ue to afford health insurance.”

“And it takes impor­tant steps to tack­le this rapid­ly chang­ing cli­mate that presents new threats and dis­as­ters every year. Finally!”

“And it does this all by mak­ing sure the wealth­i­est cor­po­ra­tions pay their fair share of tax­es like we all do, and with­out rais­ing tax­es for mid­dle class fam­i­lies. This bill is a series of wins for the peo­ple I rep­re­sent in Washington’s 8th District.”

Excerpt from Suzan DelBene’s statement

“Today is a his­toric day for Amer­i­can fam­i­lies, our seniors, and our econ­o­my,” said U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Suzan Del­Bene, D‑WA-01.

“The Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act is the cul­mi­na­tion of a year of nego­ti­at­ing and the final prod­uct we are send­ing to Pres­i­dent Biden will pro­vide ben­e­fits that Amer­i­cans will feel right away while mak­ing impor­tant invest­ments in our clean ener­gy future. To any­one who says that Con­gress can­not do big or good things any­more, we proved them wrong today, again.”

Excerpt from Marilyn Strickland’s statement

“Across the South Sound, fam­i­lies have strug­gled to put food on the table, fill up their gas tank, and make pay­ments for basic liv­ing expens­es due to ris­ing costs,” said U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mar­i­lyn Strick­land, D‑WA-10.

“The Infla­tion Reduc­tion Act low­ers costs across the board, from pre­scrip­tion drugs to tran­sit to the cli­mate cri­sis and much more. I look for­ward to this bill becom­ing law and pro­vid­ing need­ed relief for South Sound families. ”

We’ll con­tin­ue to update this post with addi­tion­al reac­tion as we get it. 

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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