Biden strikes senate deal on climate bill in unexpected U-turn

Joe Biden has gained support for the biggest climate investment in US history, as the proposed $739bn package will combat the climate crisis, raise corporate taxes and address healthcare issues.

The US President had previously struggled to get backing the bill, as Democratic senator Joe Manchin who said he was worried the proposal could worsen inflation.

But in an unexpected U-turn the senator has now given his support in a huge victory for Biden ahead of midterm elections in November.

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President Biden said: ‘This bill would be the most signification legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis and improve our energy security right away.

‘With this legislation, we’re facing up to some of our biggest problems and we’re taking a giant step forward as a nation … This bill is far from perfect, it’s a compromise, but that’s often how progress is made: by compromises.’

The congressional deal struck between Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Mr Manchin would see $393bn be invested into climate policies, such as renewable energy and tax credits for electric vehicles.

The package, named the Inflation Reduction Act, could reduce US emissions by 40% by 2030 if passed and help economically too, as $306bn will be earmarked for debt reduction.

By raising corporate minimum tax on large corporations by 15% and expanding Internal Revenue Service tax enforcement it’s expected the bill will pay for itself, by raising $739bn over the decade.

$306bn has also been earmarked for debt reduction, a condition Mr Manchin insisted be included in the bill.

Medicare, a healthcare-programme for the elderly and disabled, would also be allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices under the package, saving federal government about $288bn over the 10 year period.

The proposal is a slight step backwards from the Democrat’s original version of the package worth $3.5tn but is also a sign of progress in reaching the nation’s net zero target by 2050.

President Biden will need the support of all 50 Democratic senators, as well as Vice President kamala Harris, to pass the bill through the senate and on to the House of Representatives.

If passed several of Biden’s major policy goals would be enshrined in law, as he recently revealed his plan worth $2.3bn to tackle the climate crisis and extreme weather. 


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