Biden signs Democrats’ $740 billion tax, climate and health care bill

President Biden signed into law the Democrats’ $740 billion reconciliation bill on Tuesday.

Why is this important: The package, known as the Curbing Inflation Act, includes provisions that raise taxes on big business, tackle climate change and cut prescription drug costs. Biden stressed that the bill will help reduce the deficit and lower inflation, although economic models suggest it will have little effect on headline inflation.

Details: Among other actions, the Inflation Reduction Act…

  • Invests approximately $370 billion in initiatives to promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Increases health care spending by $98 billion.
  • Imposes a minimum tax of 15% on corporations that make more than $1 billion in annual profits.
  • Allows the Federal Secretary of Health to negotiate the prices of certain expensive drugs for Medicare.

To note: It’s the biggest investment in clean energy and emissions reductions the Senate has ever passed, writes Andrew Freedman of Axios.

The big picture: The bill, while much smaller and less ambitious than many Democrats wanted, cleared its biggest hurdle after some sense-making negotiations. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona). Vice President Harris cast the deciding vote.

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