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Rep. Bowman Joins Fellow Dems As House Passes Inflation Reduction Act

The largest federal investment to combat the climate crisis in US history, putting the nation on course to curb emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer along with Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and U.S. Rep Jamaal Bowman, announce funding plans for the City of Mount Vernon to combat its ongoing sewage and wastewater issues, at Mount Vernon City Hall, March 18, 2022 [Black Westchester]

The House on Friday passed the Inflation Reduction Act along party lines, clearing the final obstacle and sending it to President Joe Biden for final approval. Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16) and the Democrats in The House voted 220-207, with Republicans fiercely opposed to the measure. The Inflation Reduction Act is a reconciliation package of climate, healthcare, and tax measures to strengthen our economy and bring down costs for people in America.

“Many people cannot afford basic necessities to live, and many more are just one missed check or unexpected expense away from a financial catastrophe. The cost of housing, childcare, groceries and transportation is astronomical without considering other necessary expenses such as life-saving medicines like insulin,” Congressman Bowman shared with Black Westchester. “The Inflation Reduction Act – sets us on the right path. We’re empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors and people with disabilities. We’re making long-needed improvements to IRS enforcement and closing tax loopholes that the ultra-wealthy have taken advantage of without accountability. Billion-dollar corporations will start paying a 15 percent corporate minimum tax and a 1 percent tax on corporate stock buybacks – which marks essential progress towards making corporations pay their fair share. With this bill, we’re significantly investing in the clean energy transition.”

Democrats hailed the measure as delivering on their campaign promises of financial relief with new programs to cut prescription drug costs, among other measures.

“Our Inflation Reduction Act is a robust cost-cutting package that meets the moment, ensuring that our families thrive, and our planet survives,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the floor. After some initial fretting, the California Democrat didn’t lose a single vote in her caucus — meaning every single Democrat in Congress voted for the bill.

House Democrats quickly coalesced around the package shortly after the Senate passed it on Sunday with approval from Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. It capped a saga that stretched for over a year and a half that saw Democratic infighting over the size of their economic ambitions.

The bill would empower Medicare to negotiate the price of some prescription drugs and establish $370 billion in clean-energy tax credits to incentivize the development of renewable power sources in addition to cutting the cost of appliances like heat pumps and electric induction stovetops. It would also extend financial assistance, so a larger set of Americans can purchase health coverage under the Affordable Care Act for three more years.

It amounts to the largest federal investment to combat the climate crisis in US history, putting the nation on course to curb emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the No. 5 House Democrat, repurposed Biden’s famous hot-mic celebration of the Affordable Care Act to mark this moment.

“We are once getting big things done for everyday Americans,” Jeffries said on the House floor, listing off the party’s work thus far. “It’s a big f-ing deal.”

The Inflation Reduction Act also caps the cost of all prescription drugs at $2,000 per year for seniors who have Medicare Part D and allows Medicare to negotiate the price of some of the most expensive prescription drugs directly with drug manufacturers, reducing the cost of these often out-of-reach medications to seniors. $1 in every $3 spent on prescription drugs in the U.S. is spent on someone with diabetes, and this out-of-pocket cost limit will benefit people with diabetes who rely on more than just insulin to survive.

“Together, these measures will reduce inflation by centering people and community wellness. Progressives championing issues central to the people is how House Democrats were able to pass the Build Back Better Act. The House-passed Build Back Better Act of 2021 is why we have the Inflation Reduction Act heading to the President’s desk for signature today. It is a start, and we have more work to do to fully respond to the cost-of-living crisis,” continued Rep. Bowman, who is running for re-election in the upcoming primary this month. “People deserve lower insulin prices and lower drug prices in general, including if you have private health insurance. We need to protect frontline communities from fossil fuel pollution, and finally end our dependence on oil, gas, and coal. Our work continues to deliver affordable, quality housing, childcare, and education, a $15 minimum wage, immigration justice, and more. As we celebrate the progress made today, we recommit to addressing every priority in Build Back Better and more.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) who has endorsed Bowman heralded the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling its passage a “defining feat.”

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About AJ Woodson (2322 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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