Biden on first anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act slams GOP who voted against it, but have taken credit for it.

 Biden on first anniversary of Inflation Reduction Act slams GOP who voted against it, but have taken credit for it.

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President Joe Biden commemorated the first anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act on Wednesday, emphasizing its impact on climate change, job creation, and reduced healthcare costs. These issues are anticipated to be critical in the 2024 presidential race.

The act’s passage a year ago showcased the determination of the Democrats in Congress who overcame hurdles from Republicans and their own ranks to pass this landmark tax, energy, and climate legislation.

Highlighting the legislation’s success, Biden termed it as a transformative investment in clean energy designed to provide opportunities for middle-class Americans. “This is one of the most pivotal job and economic growth catalysts our nation has witnessed,” he commented during his White House speech.

The act encompasses over $300 billion directed towards energy and climate, targeting a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 2005. It also allocates $64 billion for the extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies until 2025 and authorizes Medicare to bargain on specific drug prices. Additionally, a 15% minimum tax rate for major corporations is expected to garner over $300 billion in revenue.

As of now, the law has reportedly facilitated the creation of 170,000 new clean energy roles, a figure Biden expects to reach 1.5 million in a decade.

However, the legislation is a trimmed version of Biden’s initial propositions from 2020, which nearly didn’t see the light of day. Following his inauguration, he introduced a $2.3 trillion plan addressing job creation and climate issues, and subsequently, another $1.8 trillion package for education, health, and child care.

His agenda met resistance from Republicans and even some Democrats, particularly Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. After lengthy negotiations, an independent infrastructure bill was endorsed with bipartisan support in late 2021.

Against the backdrop of looming midterms, Biden’s ambitions seemed unlikely to materialize. But a surprising agreement in July 2022 between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer ensured the Inflation Reduction Act’s approval without Republican backing.

While many hail the act as proof of Biden’s promise to overcome Washington’s stagnation, criticisms persist. Richard Frank from Harvard Medical School praised the act’s support for the Affordable Care Act and its impact on drug prices. However, climate advocates are disappointed, as concessions were made to the oil and gas sectors.

Allie Rosenbluth, from Oil Change International, said, “To ensure a sustainable future, we must abandon fossil fuels. President Biden needs to rise to the occasion.”

The president’s portrayal of the Inflation Reduction Act to voters will significantly influence his 2024 electoral prospects. Although not directly referencing the forthcoming election or former President Donald Trump, Biden did underscore the Democrats’ sole responsibility in enacting what he believes is a monumental law. – Video

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