President Biden on Thursday voiced his support of the deal Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) reached on a reconciliation bill that includes modest provisions on climate investments and lowering prescription drug prices.
During a press conference addressing “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” Biden said he spoke with Schumer and Manchin earlier in the day to offer his support for their agreement, which he touted as “historic” and a “godsend” for families.
“This bill would be the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis,” the President said, adding that the legislation is expected to lower costs for Americans who purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
Biden also touted the bill’s provision that would implement a 15 percent minimum corporate tax on companies of $1 billion or larger.
After acknowledging that the agreement is a “compromise” and “far from perfect,” Biden said progress is made through compromises as he threw his support behind the deal and urged Congress to pass it.
“My message to Congress is this: this is the strongest bill you can pass to lower inflation, cut the deficit, reduce health care costs, tackle the climate crisis and promote energy security, all the time while reducing the burdens facing working class and middle class families,” Biden said. “So, pass it.”
The agreement between Schumer and Manchin comes weeks after the centrist senator tanked a version of the bill following even more weeks of negotiations. Provisions of the current bill include giving Medicare the green light to negotiate the reduction of prescription drug prices and extending some key Affordable Care Act subsidies for three years. The bill will also invest $369 billion in climate investments over the next 10 years and will raise taxes on high earners and large corporations.
Some pieces of the bill, however, are still in the works. It is unclear which drugs Medicare will be able to negotiate down and the climate provisions are broad, with the bill summary describing them as a “historic down payment” to “reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.” Additionally, the bill does not address the State And Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap.
A Senate vote for the deal is expected next week. It requires the support of all 50 Democrats in the evenly-split Senate to pass, in addition to a simple majority in the House.
If passed, the bill would deliver another legislative victory for the President ahead of the midterms, following the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill last year as well as a bipartisan agreement on a modest gun restriction bill earlier this year.
Watch Biden’s remarks below: