Our Environment

Inflation Reduction Act passes the U.S. House, heads to President Joe Biden’s desk

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. 

Andrew Villeneuve

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