Follow Us:

Senate Victory

 Democrats used a fast-track legislative process known as reconciliation to pass the measure in the face of unanimous opposition from Republicans.

Statesman News Service |

Despite a fractured legislature, Sunday marked a crucial victory in the Senate for President Joe Biden and the unity of the Democrats. The Senate has passed the Democrats’ sweeping economic package designed to combat climate change, address health care costs and raise taxes on large corporations, marking a crucial achievement for Mr Biden and his party as they seek to maintain their hold on Congress in the November midterm elections. The plan, called the Inflation Reduction Act, cleared the upper chamber by a vote of 51 to 50 along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the tie-breaking vote in the evenly divided Senate.

Democrats used a fast-track legislative process known as reconciliation to pass the measure in the face of unanimous opposition from Republicans. “It’s been a long, tough and winding road but at last, at last, we have arrived,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in remarks on the Senate floor as members prepared to vote for final passage. “Today, after more than a year of hard work, the Senate is making history. I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative feats of the 21st century.” The vote came after a marathon session that lasted through the night and into Sunday afternoon, with Democrats breaking into applause as members cast their final votes. In a process known as a “vote-arama,” Republicans offered a welter of amendments that Democrats successfully swatted down over nearly 16 hours of debate.

GOP senators did manage to block a provision that would have capped the price of insulin at $35 a month for those covered under private health care plans. Democrats needed 60 votes to waive reconciliation rules and keep that part of the bill, but it failed 57 to 43, with seven Republicans joining Democrats in support of the measure. House Democratic leaders announced last week that the lower chamber would return from its monthlong recess on Friday to take up the legislation, which is expected to pass. President Biden praised Senate Democrats for passing the plan and acknowledged that it required “many compromises.”

In a statement, he said, “I ran for President promising to make government work for working families again, and that is what this bill does ~ period.” The package is the culmination of months of negotiations over Mr Biden’s domestic policy agenda, which at times appeared to be on life support but was revived late last month with the surprise announcement of an agreement between Senators Schumer and Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia.