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President Joe Biden signs major climate, health care and tax bill

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed into law a major Democratic spending bill on Tuesday that aims to tackle climate change, raise corporate taxes and expand health care coverage.

The bill, dubbed the Cut Inflation Act, is a major legislative achievement for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. It passed both the House and the Senate last week with the support of all Democrats and no Republicans.

“With this law, the American people won and special interests lost,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “We didn’t demolish, we built. We didn’t look back, we looked forward. And today offers further proof that America’s soul is vibrant.

The president signed the measure after returning to Washington from his vacation in South Carolina, where he had been monitoring the House’s passage of the legislation on Friday. He is now heading to Wilmington, Delaware, for the rest of his vacation.

The legislation will raise about $700 billion through corporate tax increases and prescription drug savings, and it will spend about $400 billion on clean energy and health care. The package is far from what most Democrats had wanted, however, with backstop elements scrapped by Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and a slew of tax increases blocked by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

The House passed the bill in a vote of 220 to 207, along party lines, with all Republicans opposing it. Earlier in the week, the Senate passed the measure in a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

“At this historic moment, Democrats have sided with the American people and every Republican in Congress has sided with that particular interest in this vote,” Biden said Tuesday. “It’s the choice we face: we can protect those who are already powerful or show the courage to build a future where everyone has an equal chance.”

The bill includes a series of provisions aimed at helping consumers, including tax credits for clean-energy household products and electric vehicles and savings on prescription drugs and health insurance premiums.

While some elements of the law will be implemented immediately, such as tax credits for electric vehicle purchases, many elements will not come into effect until next year. The Affordable Care Act’s expanded subsidies and $35 insulin price cap for Medicare enrollees, for example, will be available from January, while the impact of prescription drug negotiations will only be felt in 2026.

Biden plans to rely on members of his cabinet to tout the bill’s benefits to Americans in what White House officials have described as a “coordinated August vacation blitz.”

Nine Cabinet members are already set to host 18 events across the country, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan planning to discuss the legislation at a conference in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

White House officials said they plan to hold a bigger “celebration” of the legislative victory on Sept. 6.

Sahil Kapour and Mike Memoli contributed.


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